A Panoply of Galaxies

The incredible diversity of galactic shapes and structure (NASA)

The Australian science magazine Cosmos (you’ll find it in the periodicals section) reports in its online edition (Galaxies Shaped By Dark Past) that a pair of astrophysicists have created a model called GALFORM, which simulates galaxy formation in a universe described in one of the dominant cosmological models of the cosmos (the Lambda Cold Dark Matter or LCDM model).

As Cosmos evinces, their “model was able to reproduce the evolutionary history of the universe over its 13.7 billion years. Moreover it not only got the shapes but also the numbers of various galaxies right and the rate at which galaxy mergers occur.

“‘We were completely astonished that our model predicted both the abundance and diversity of galaxy types so precisely,’ said astrophysicist Nick Devereux of Embry-Riddle University in Arizona.’”

The model, now published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, further shows that our own galaxy “the Milky Way has a complex past but so far has only undergone minor collisions and the gravitational collapse of its inner disk to form the central bar.”

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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