(Click the image above for a larger image.)
Long ago I was inspired by John Dubinski's (et al) work on galactic mergers. He created code that ran on a supercomputer
to simulate the merger of the Milky Way (us) and Andromeda
(nearest large neighbor) galaxies (making Milkomeda) and put together a movie as
part of his GRAVITAS series. I have been showing this to the public for years.
There is a point in the simulation where the resulting
pattern looks (to my eye) *very* similar to NGC 5216 (Keenan system).
Please see this image.
Granted that the physics is correct, it is remarkable that the Universe is large enough to express examples of all potential
possibilities. This lends credence to the idea that astrophysical computer simulations may be predictive.
Here the tidal stream that seems to connect the galaxies with their two counter-oriented tidal tails is represented well
in the comparison!
This pattern exists only briefly in the full simulation (
which you should check out). I guess I do better at finding patterns in galaxies rather than clouds - unless you just
see the bunny rabbit.
~ Adam Block
- Optics             24-inch RC Optical Systems Telescope
- Camera           SBIG STL11000 CCD Camera
- Filters              Custom Scientific
- Dates               May 20th and 21st 2010
- Location          Mount Lemmon SkyCenter
- Exposure          LRGB = 270:80:70:80 minutes
- Acquisition       TheSky (Software Bisque), Maxim DL/CCD (Cyanogen)
- Processing        CCDStack (CCDWare), Maxim DL (Cyanogen), Photoshop CS3 (Adobe)
- Credit Line and Copyright        Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona