A Gallery of Milky Way & Andromeda - like systems

As part of the FIRE project, we have simulated a large number of galaxies that resemble the Milky Way or Andromeda, including some “Local Group” systems which include both, together, like our own neighborhood. Shea Garrison-Kimmel has compiled a large number of movies of these different systems, side-by-side, such as the example shown above. His page (with a huge number of different movies showing the gas and stars in all these systems or each of them at a time). This allows you to see the diversity of formation and merger histories, that produce galaxies broadly similar to our own today.

The movies below are constructed from these and other simulations which show a variety of behaviors, from dwarf galaxies that form thick, puffy gas disks to Milky Way or Local Group-type systems. In all cases, the starlight images are mock u/g/r composite Hubble Space Telescope-type images (blue shows sites of young star formation, red/brown shows where dust has obscured the starlight). The gas images are a mock three-color composite showing the cold neutral gas (magenta, < 8000 K), warm ionized gas (green, ~1e4 - 1e5 K), and hot gas (red, >1e6 K). For each galaxy, there are two or four videos, showing gas and stars, and (if four) one “zoomed in” on small scales, with another “zoomed out” on large scales.

These simulations were primarily run by Andrew Wetzel and Shea Garrison-Kimmel (m11b by TK Chan), and are discussed in https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.04143Images of the galaxies at the present day can be found here. Credit for making the movies goes to Shea Garrison-Kimmel (variants of these movies that go faster or slower, or have higher resolution, or tile the movies together, are available upon request from Shea).

The direct link to Shea’s page is http://www.tapir.caltech.edu/~sheagk/firemovies.html

© Philip Hopkins 2015