Monday, 5 May 2014

The Proto-Milky Way during its First Billion Years

Here is a neat animation showing the accretion of gas onto the progenitor of a Milky Way like galaxy when the Universe was barely 10% of its current age. Note how anisotropic the gas flow -- colour coded according to its projected density -- onto the proto-galaxy is. The stellar component of the galaxy  is nursing the after-effects of a violent merger with another galaxy, with the cores of the two galaxies in an ongoing tussle as they mutually shred each other in their combined gravity. There has also been an enormous burst of star formation, which is driving very hot gas out of the galaxy and into its larger-scale environment. Pretty neat stuff…!

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The stellar component of the proto-MW - reeling from the impact of a violent merger with another galaxy.