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Telescope Design
Gravitational Waves Star Clusters Stellar Evolution


APERTURE Telescope Conceptual Design Animation
by Mel Ulmer

APERTURE: A Precise Extremely large Reflective Telescope Using Reconfigurable Elements. This is the deployment concept which was produced during the NIAC Phase I feasibility study. APERTURE is a UV-Visible telescope with a 16-m diameter primary mirror. The primary is a flexible membrane coated with magnetic smart material. The shape of the reflector can be corrected after deployment by applying a magnetic field using magnetic write head(s).

Credit:
 Movie by Mel Ulmer


General Relativity & Gravitational Wave Visualizations
by Carl Rodriguez

These movies demonstrate the transition from the Newtonian theory of gravitation to Einsteinís General Relativity.

First we show two objects (e.g. a binary black hole) orbiting around one another as predicted by Newton: an orbit in a fixed spacetime.

Then we show the same orbit, but with the curvature of spacetime, as predicted by Einstein.

Finally, we show the same relativistic orbit, but with the emission of gravitational waves.

Credit:
 Movies by Northwestern Visualization, Carl Rodriguez

Measuring Gravitational Waves
by Carl Rodriguez


Output


LIGO


LISA

A series of cartoons showing the effect on a grid of particles of a passing gravitational wave, and the effect of a gravitational wave on a circle of particles with a LIGO-style detector and a LISA-style detector.

Credit:
 Movies by Carl Rodriguez


Visualizations of Black Holes in Globular Clusters
by Carl Rodriguez

A beautiful simulation of a core of black holes inside a globular cluster, as modeled by an early version of RAPID. This movie follows the dynamics of 60 black holes and 500 stars in the core, until two black holes are combined to form a black hole binary.

Credit:
 Movie by Northwestern Visualization, Carl Rodriguez

A movie, created using World Wide Telescope, showing two galactic globular clusters. The movie starts by zooming in to M22, the first globular discovered, and then sweeps down the southern hemisphere to zoom in on 47 Tuc.

Credit: Movie by Carl Rodriguez

Two scattering tests, generated with John Fregeau’s Fewbody code, that shows typical encounters in a cluster.  The left movie shows a simple hyberbolic encounter, while the right movie shows what happens when a binary and single star interact.

Credit: Movies by Carl Rodriguez

A 5 minute movie, made with Medill Undergraduate Sam Rong, about black hole dynamics in globular clusters, and the implications for Advanced LIGO. This movie was submitted to the Jackson Hole Science Film Festival, 2014.

Credit: Carl Rodriguez, Sam Rong, Northwestern Visualization


Dynamical Evolution of Star Clusters
by Aaron Geller

This movie, Life of the Pleiades, was generated from an interactive visualization that Aaron Geller developed with Mark SubbaRao using Uniview. The interactive version can be shown on a planetarium dome, or rendered into a movie (as shown here). A 3D version of this movie exists in the Space Visualization Lab at the Adler Planetarium. The movie discusses star cluster dynamics and evaporation, stellar encounters, black hole and neutron star formation, and the HR diagram.

Credit: Created by A. M. Geller and M. SubbaRao, using Uniview; music, narration and audio by A. M. Geller; dynamical calculation with stellar evolution performed using the NBODY6 code.

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Star Cluster Evolution Using d3
by Ester Pantaleo, Mark SubbaRao, and Aaron Geller

Here is a new project that works to visualize star cluster evolution using d3. It shows the evolution of the H-R diagram alongside the dynamical evolution of the star cluster, and the time can be interactively changed in the model. Also, real images of star clusters in our galaxy can be brought up using World Wide Telescope.

Credit: Aaron Geller produced the simulation using NBODY6. Ester Pantaleo coded this up into d3 and created the visualization. Mark SubbaRao and A. M. Geller conceived the idea, with Mark leading the effort to create the d3 viz.


Stellar Encounters
by Aaron Geller


Triple+binary encounter that leads to a collision

Binary+single encounter that leads to a collision

Binary+single encounter that leads to an exchange

Binary+single encounter that leads to an exchange, followed by a second binary+single encounter that leads to a collision

Within star clusters, close encounters between single and multiple stars can be frequent and may lead to the production of exotic stars like X-ray sources and blue stragglers. By using the small-N-body code FEWBODY and another visualization software, a few visualizations of interesting stellar encounters were created. In all of these movies, star sizes and colors are based on the actual radii and temperatures of the given stars (with some artistic license taken). Color-coded tails are shown to help keep track of the individual stars. During a collision, the encounter is slowed down, and after the collision, the system is paused and rotated, both to show more detail of the interaction. Here are shown four examples.

Credit:
Movies by Aaron Geller using IDL and MPEG Streamclip; dynamical calculation performed using FEWBODY
Funding: NSF

Download movies: Triple+binary encounter that leads to a collision, Binary+single encounter that leads to a collision, Binary+single encounter that leads to an exchange, Binary+single encounter that leads to an exchange, followed by a second binary+single encounter that leads to a collision


Evolution of the Color-Magnitude Diagram of a Star Cluster
by Aaron Geller

This is a movie of the evolving color-magnitude diagram from the N-body model of the old open cluster NGC 188. Binaries are plotted with blue points, and show the combined light of the unresolved system. Single stars are plotted in black points. The dynamical and stellar evolution calculations were performed using NBODY6, with some modifications to define the binary population and output format.

Credit: Movie by Aaron Geller using IDL and MPEG Streamclip; dynamical and stellar evolution calculations performed with NBODY6
Funding: NSF

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The Formation of Nuclear Star Clusters
by Fabio Antonini


S1: Initial cluster orbits are isotropically distributed around the central black hole (yellow point at the center).

S2: Initial cluster orbits are circular and all lie on the same plane.

S3: Same as S1 but this time without central black hole.
The three simulations correspond to different initial distributions for the cluster orbits.

Most galaxies, including the Milky Way, contain massive (10^7 Solar masses) star clusters at their center. Understanding the formation of such nuclear star clusters is important as it could shed light on the processes that have shaped the central regions of galaxies and led to the formation of their central black holes. This visualization shows the (simulated) formation of a compact nuclear star cluster at the center of the dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10. This galaxy is the first dwarf galaxy ever discovered to contain a central massive black hole. Observations also reveal that Henize 2-10 contains no nuclear cluster, while 12 massive (10^5 Solar masses) young (only few Myr old) clusters are observed near the center of the galaxy.

These clusters, the galaxy (Henize 2-10), and the central BH were realized adopting a particle by particle representation and then evolved forward in time with a GPU-based N-body code. The visualization shows that as the clusters interact gravitationally with each other, with the surrounding galaxy stars (not shown in the movie) and with the massive black hole (yellow symbol at the center) they sink to the center of the galaxy where they merge to form a massive nuclear cluster. The overall properties of the newly formed cluster, including its morphology and mass, are consistent with the observed properties of nuclear star clusters.

The results of these simulations provide a first indication that nuclear star cluster and massive black hole formation might not be as tightly related as previously thought, and that the presence of a nuclear star cluster is not a pre-requisite for the formation of a central black hole seed.

Credit: simulations by Arca-Sedda, M., Capuzzo-Dolcetta, Antonini, F. and Seth., A. C. (ApJ, 2015, 806, 220).
Funding: CIERA; University of Rome La Sapienza; University of Utah.

Download movies: S1, S2, S3


A 1 Solar Mass Star
by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems, Francesca Valsecchi, and Matthew McCrory

This movie shows the evolution of a star as massive as our sun.
Each star spends most of its life in a phase known as the main sequence, during which it burns hydrogen into helium at its center and it slowly expands (as the reference circles show) to accommodate the energy produced via this nuclear fusion. The expansion causes the surface temperature to decrease, bringing the color of the star towards the red part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Credit: Stellar simulation by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems and Francesca Valsecchi. Visualization by Matthew McCrory.
Funding: NSF and LIGO

Download Movie with Narration - Download HD movie (Without Narration, QuickTime, 628MB) - Download 600x338 movie (Without Narration, QuickTime, 70MB)


A 10 Solar Mass Star
by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems, Francesca Valsecchi, and Matthew McCrory

This movie shows the evolution of a star 10 times more massive than our sun. The blue color of the star's surface visible in the first frame is the result of this higher mass.
Each star spends most of its life in a phase known as the main sequence, during which it burns hydrogen into helium at its center and it slowly expands (as the reference circles show) to accommodate the energy produced via this nuclear fusion.

Credit: Stellar simulation by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems and Francesca Valsecchi. Visualization by Matthew McCrory.
Funding: NSF and LIGO

Download Movie with Narration - Download HD movie (Without Narration QuickTime, 441MB) - Download 600x338 movie (Without Narration QuickTime, 51MB)


A 20 Solar Mass Star
by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems, Francesca Valsecchi, and Matthew McCrory

This movie shows the evolution of a star 20 times more massive than our sun. The blue color of the star's surface visible in the first frame is the result of this higher mass.

Credit: Stellar simulation by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems and Francesca Valsecchi. Visualization by Matthew McCrory.
Funding: NSF and LIGO

Download Movie with Narration - Download HD movie (Without Narration QuickTime, 423MB) - Download 600x338 movie (Without Narration QuickTime, 37MB)


Neutron Star & White Dwarf Binary
by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems, Francesca Valsecchi, and Matthew McCrory

This movie shows one of the possible evolutionary scenarios of a binary system.
Binary systems are star systems comprising two stars orbiting around their common center of mass in a Keplerian orbit, which means that the two components are bound together by their mutual gravitational attraction. In this movie, the binary system consists of a main sequence star like our sun, and a neutron star 1.4 times more massive than the sun.

Credit: Stellar simulation by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems and Francesca Valsecchi. Visualization by Matthew McCrory.
Funding: NSF and LIGO

Download HD movie (QuickTime, 375MB) - Download 600x338 movie (QuickTime, 26MB)


The Late Evolution of Our Solar System
by Aaron Geller

This visualization was originally developed for the Adler Planetarium, and can be seen in their Space Visualization Lab as a 3D interactive show. Here is a movie of that visualization, which shows the evolution of our Sun and Solar System, from the time that the Sun ends its life on the main sequence (about 5 Gyr from now) until it becomes a white dwarf. The thick colored ellipses show the orbits of the eight planets and Pluto as they evolve over time, and thin colored ellipses mark their initial orbits. The habitable zone, where liquid water can exist on a planet's surface, is shown by the wide blue band. Over time, the Sun becomes larger, redder and more luminous as it ascends the giant branch, shrinks back down when it begins fusing Helium in its core, and then increases in size again as it makes its ascent up the asymptotic giant branch (where you can also see the late thermal pulses). Mass loss from the Sun causes the planets to migrate outwards with time, which competes against the pull of tides for the inner planets, as is most evident right before Mercury and, particularly, Venus are engulfed by the Sun. Here the Earth survives, though this is not the case in all of our models; however clearly liquid water will not remain on Earth's surface. Finally, note that the time progresses in equal steps of mass loss from the Sun, not linearly as we're more used to.

Credit:
 Movie by Aaron Geller using partiview and ffmpeg; stellar evolution calculation performed using MESA; equillibrium tides following Hut (1981); dynamical calculation COMING SOON using Mercury; all linked together within AMUSE.
Funding: NSF

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