Universe  ID: 10687

JWST Science Simulation: Galaxy Collision

The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) collaborated with NASA and Drs. Brant Robertson and Lars Hernquist to visualize two colliding galaxies that interact and merge into a single elliptical galaxy over a period spanning two billion years of evolution. The scientific theoretical model and the computational data output were developed by Drs. Brant Robertson and Lars Hernquist. AVL rendered more than 80 gigabytes of this data using in-house rendering software and Virtual Director for camera choreography. This computation provides important research to understand galaxy mergers, and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will provide data to test such theories. When two large disk-shaped galaxies merge — as will happen within the next few billion years with the Milky Way galaxy and its largest neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy — the result will likely settle into a cloud-shaped elliptical galaxy. Most elliptical galaxies observed today formed from collisions that occurred billions of years ago. It is difficult to observe such collisions now with ground-based telescopes since these collisions are billions of light-years away. JWST will probe in unprecedented detail those distant epochs, and provide exquisite images of mergers caught in the act of destroying disk galaxies.

AVL at NCSA University of Illinois


Credits

Donna Cox (AVL NCSA/University of Illinois): Lead Animator
Stuart Levy (AVL NCSA/University of Illinois): Animator
Robert Patterson (AVL NCSA/University of Illinois): Animator
Donna Cox (AVL NCSA/University of Illinois): Producer
Brant Robertson (California Institute of Technology): Scientist
Lars Hernquist (Harvard University): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, B. Robertson, L. Hernquist

For usage permission, please contact Donna Cox at the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois. Thank you.

Science Paper:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006ApJ...641...21R
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006ApJ...641...90R
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010ApJ...713.1266R
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010ApJ...716L.229R

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/10687

Mission:
James Webb Space Telescope - JWST

Goddard TV Tapes:
G2010-014 -- JWST Media Resource Reel 2010
G2010-070 -- JWST Science Animations

Keywords:
SVS >> Galaxy
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> JWST
SVS >> Webb Telescope
SVS >> Star
SVS >> James Webb Space Telescope
NASA Science >> Universe