The generally accepted model for structure formation in the Universe present is that smaller objects formed first in the Universe, and that through a series of mergers, began forming the larger galaxies which we see today. Observations of interacting galaxies give a snap-shot in time of collisions which actually last billions of years. By using computer simulations to model these interactions, astronomers can look into the past and the future of these encounters and look at how structure formed in the Universe.
In this project you will use the Java applet applet, 'Galaxy Crash' (written by Chris Mihos, Case Western University, USA - http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/JavaLab/), to simulate interactions of galaxies. You will create tidal tails and elliptical galaxies, and reproduce the types of galaxy interactions which we observe today.
- Course Leader: Sarah Roberts