Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A quick shot of my galaxy simulation


I mentioned previously that I have been working on a galaxy simulation with a star forming region in the center. Things have been progressing, I think I can go to running 3D simulations sometime in the next two months. I will share more information when I have it, but I just wanted to share a cool picture that I made from my simulation.This is a density map of the r and z directions (x and y, on this image) of a galaxy, or a slice in the x-z plane at y=0 if you prefer. So top and bottom of the image correspond to above and below the galaxy. We are looking at the galactic disk edge on.

There are a few cool things about this image that made me excited, mostly the long filaments coming out of the galaxy. I was excited about this because that is almost exactly what we see in real galaxies, and is exactly what we are trying to find through simulations. The one problem I had here is I messed up with a certain parameter which made the galaxy not be in hydro-static equilibrium to start out, which means it kind of collapsed in on itself. That explains why the disk is so narrow and so dense.

I failed to mention that this image was rendered in ParaView. I also have a few movies that I made relating to this simulation (again rendered in ParaView). A movie showing density can be found here (Note: It is large, 27 MB). Another showing speed (magnitude of velocity) can be found here (also large, 33 MB).


  1. That was weird, the background just changed to be readable.

  2. This is cool stuff. I'll be very interested to see what happens when you get to 3D. Are the filaments jets from supernovae or are they created by the galaxy itself?

  3. Quantumleap42,

    Very interesting. I like the picture and am excited to hear more.

    "The one problem I had here is I messed up with a certain parameter which made the galaxy not be in hydro-static equilibrium to start out"

    Yeah, it does seem like getting getting the initial conditions to be correct is half the battle.

  4. The filaments apparently come from the wind interacting with dense cool regions outside of the center (so dense clouds of gas). The main filaments in this simulation come from the "splash" of the wind hitting the cloud.

    In terms of real galaxies, there is also some debate about where the filaments come from, either from gas thrown off of the star forming region or from ram-pressure of the wind acting on clouds that are already there.

  5. It looks great. I've used ParaView before (for brain imaging stuff - but we do not generally use it).

  6. Hey, what a coincidence. I was doing some brain imaging today in ParaView. It was quite fun. We were looking at a tumor in a brain and we were trying to figure out how to display it while also showing critical areas of the brain that could not be disturbed when surgery was performed. It is quite an interesting program.


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