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Black Hole Encounter

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Black Hole Encounter

In late 2015, LIGO discovered gravitational waves emitted by two black holes (each with a mass of about 30 times that of our Sun) that spiraled together and merged about 1.5 billion years ago. Astrophysicists are now debating which is the most likely mechanism that can bring two black holes like those observed so close

Firefly Demonstration

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Firefly Demonstration

Firefly is a portable web-based 3d visualization software developed in partnership between the Northwestern University Galaxy Formation and Visualization groups. It was developed with the data output of the FIRE simulations in mind but can visualize any 3d dataset (in coordinate or phase space). In this video I demonstrate some of the key features of

Aaron Geller / Alex Gurvich / Northwestern

Galaxy Evolution

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Galaxy Evolution

Here we show the evolution of a Milky Way-like galaxy over time. The top row shows the galaxy as it would appear today, the middle 3.5 billion years ago, and the bottom almost 10 billion years ago. Columns give different views of the same snapshot in time, leftmost is the mock view through the Hubble

Alex Gurvich / Northwestern

Firefly Visualization Platform

Image / Interactive

Firefly Visualization Platform

A screenshot from Firefly, an interactive, web-based, and publicly available visualization platform available at ageller.github.io/Firefly. Shown here is a snapshot in time from a simulation of a Milky Way-like galaxy with the stars in blue, the gas in red, and the dark matter in yellow. In the real universe the gas and dark matter is invisible, so

Aaron Geller / Alex Gurvich / Northwestern

Gas Outflows Near Milky Way’s Central Black Hole

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Gas Outflows Near Milky Way’s Central Black Hole

Marked on this ALMA image are the locations and orientations of 11 gas outflows, which look like the bipolar lobes made by young protostars. These outflows are all within about 3 light-years of our galaxy’s supermassive black hole, marked with a star. Outflow #1 has the most obvious structure; the rest don’t show up well

ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Yusef-Zadeh et al.; B.Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

One Galaxy, Multiple Perspectives

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One Galaxy, Multiple Perspectives

This collection of images shows gas swirling around the same galaxy in several different ways. Taken together, the columns create a time-lapse projection. The top row shows the density of gas in the galaxy at a given time: in these panels, the brightest areas show where gas is most densely concentrated. In the middle row,

Zachary Hafen, CIERA/Northwestern University

Shredded Star Cluster

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Shredded Star Cluster

Most stars are born together in families of hundreds to thousands, known as star clusters. Over time, the pull of gravity from the galaxy can overcome the gravitational bond holding the family of stars together, shredding the star cluster apart. In this image, the lines show the paths of individual stars in a computer model

A. M. Geller and M. SubbaRao. CIERA/Northwestern

Birth of a Solar System

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Birth of a Solar System

Gas-rich “proto-planetary” disks surround young, still forming stars, feeding them through accretion of dust and gas. These are the birthplaces of planetary systems. This image shows a simulation of a possible gas disk progenitor for the real exoplanetary system HR8799. Today, HR8799 has four, six-Jupiter-mass planets, 30 million years into their lives, surrounded by a

Aaron M. Geller and A. Dempsey. Simulation performed by A. Dempsey. CIERA/Northwestern

Binary System Mass Transfer

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Binary System Mass Transfer

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 image, the binary system consists of a main sequence star like our sun, and a neutron star 1.4 times more

Northwestern. Stellar simulation by Vicky Kalogera, Bart Willems and Francesca Valsecchi. Visualization by Matthew McCrory.