MPA Homepage > Scientific Research > Research Groups > Galaxy Formation > Data Visualization
On this page, you may download movies and images that we
produced from our numerical simulations. You are welcome to use this material
for illustrative purposes in talks or posters.
The Millennium Simulation ProjectWe have loosely grouped the available movies and images into different categories. Note however that both the simulation and visualization techniques employed in each case may vary widely within each category.
Also note that the images contained on this page are only a small selection from our pool of simulation pictures. Further material with more detailed explanations of the scientific background of each simulation can be found on the pages of individual projects.
Copyright statement:When material of this page is used, credit has to be given to the author(s) as well as to the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics.
This movie shows the dark matter distribution in the universe
at the present time, based on the Millennium
Simulation, the largest N-body simulation carried out thus
far (more than 1010 particles). By zooming in on a
massive cluster of galaxies, the movie highlights the morphology of the structure on different
scales, and the large dynamic range of the simulation
(105 per dimension in 3D). The zoom extends from
scales of several Gpc down to resolved substructures as small
as ~10 kpc.
This animation shows the formation of large-scale sturcture in the dark
matter distribution, from redshift z=20 to the present time. The movie
is centered on a forming rich cluster of galaxies.
Enjoy a virtual fly-through! This movie travels though the dark matter distribution in one of our GIF simulation boxes.
This visualization shows our "Local Universe", as simulated in the constrained
realization project. The Local Group is in the centre of the sphere. In
the initial orientation of the sphere, the Great Attractor is on the left,
and the Cetus Wall on the lower right.
high-resolution animation shows the formation of a rich cluster of galaxies
from cosmological initial conditions. The simulation follows dark matter
and baryonic gas.
of a magnetized galaxy cluster.
of a galaxy cluster in the tCDM GIF simulation. (starting redshift z=20)
Flying through the hot plasma atmosphere of a galaxy clusters, reveling
the richness of substructure and their dynamics during the formation of
the largest gravitational bound objects in the universe. When falling
into the cluster, the galaxies are losing their gaseous atmosphere
(appearing in white), forming comet-like features of gas trails.
Due to tidal forces these trails sometimes get deformed into arc-like structures.
The evolution of a galaxy cluster from very early times on.
The vizualisation starts when the universe has just 5% of its actual
age, and the first galaxies are forming (about z=6). The light would need about 30 millions of years to
pass the region of space shown. Shown is the temperature of the
plasma, which fills the space between stars and galaxies.
At z about 3.5 the universe has 15% of its actual age and the forming
large-scale structure (filaments) can be clearly recognized. The inlay
down in the right shows a zoom into the interior of one of the two
prominent protoclusters. In such structures (clusters of galaxies)
several thousands of galaxies can be bound by gravity.
At z about 0.8 the universe is half as old as now and the two
prominent protoclusters begin to merge into one galaxy cluster. Such
events are the most energetic phenomena since universe was born in the
Big Bang. In the final phase of this merging event a gigantic
shockwave is initiated, releasing enormous amount of energy.
Flight through a high resolution simulation of a galaxy cluster.
After zooming into the cluster, the flight follows an orbit around the
center. Visible are prominent structure within the hot plasma, building the
atmosphere of the cluster. Some of the structures inside the cluster
are able to maintain an self-bound atmosphere for a while (shown in light
blue). The population of free floating stars, which originate
from destroyed galaxies show prominent stripes as imprint of the
orbits of the former galaxies they belong to. Despite such
destruction, more than thousand of individual
galaxies can still be identified within the cluster, even forming new
stars in their centers (shown in dark blue). Only a small number of them are still
maintaining an own, hot, self-bound atmosphere (shown in light blue). For the zoom
out all stars formed within the simulation are shown.
Flight through a evolving cosmic structure (filament) which
connects several galaxy clusters. The gas between the galaxy
clusters is visualized in colors ranging from brown to light blue,
the stars formed within the simulation are colored from purple to white.
The first movie shows a large field of view and evolves only slow in
time. The second movie capture a fast fly through
the final structure with a more narrow field of view.
Flying through a evolving cosmic structure, starting at early times (the
so called dark ages), where the material in the universe is in a cold and
neutral state. First objects collapse and form the first proto galaxies
embedded in a heated atmosphere, hosting the first stars and QSOs. The
energetic light from those stars/QSOs heat and ionize the material in the
universes (note that this simulation takes this not self consistently into
account, but uses a uniform, time dependent background radiation
field), revealing the fine, filamentary structures formed so
far. Now, lager and larger structures form within a long and violent
process of merging of smaller structures leading to the largest
objects observed in the present universe, the so called galaxy
clusters, still connected to each other by filamentary structures.
At the end, the movie zooms down to a spiral galaxy, similar
to what we expect the Milky Way looks like, for a final fly-by. In this
case the galaxy is artificial constructed from an astronomical image,
as it is still impossible to obtain such detailed and realistic galaxies
directly within cosmological simulations. This movie is also shown in the
Virtual Reality facility of the new Turin Planetarium.
Same simulation as done in the constrained realization
project but including diffuse baryons. Visualized is the gas
temperature. Structures which can be identified directly
with observed galaxy clusters are labeled.
movie shows two colliding and merging spiral galaxies. The simulation
follows dark matter, gas, and a stellar component, but only the baryonic
component is visualized.
The formation of a "galactic fountain" in a forming disk galaxy. The
simulation includes a model for star formation and galactic winds. In
this particular galaxy, the winds generated by ongoing star formation
are confined by the gravitational potential of the dark matter halo, giving
rise to a "galaxtic fountain".
These movies shows the evolution of halos with quiescent and violent
merging histories, respectively.
The movies above are encoded in a variety of different formats, ranging
from MPEG-1 to MPEG-4 (divx). Depending on your system, you may have to
install additional software to properly play them, and on some systems,
playback may not be possible at all, unfortunately.
formation in the gaseous component of the universe, in a simulation box
100 Mpc/h on a side. From left to right: z=6, z=2, and z=0. Formed stellar
material is shown in yellow.
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