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Research Gallery > Extragalactic Astronomy

Research Gallery

Extragalactic Astronomy

omparison between a numerical simulation result and M81
Image Credit: Chi Yuan and Hsiang-Hsu Wang
omparison between a numerical simulation result and M81
Comparison between a numerical simulation result (left) and M81 (right). M81 is a well studied case of spiral stellar potential driven shock and star formation. The secondary spiral structure observed outside the main shock (bottom-right feature in the ri
The response of gas under the influence of the gravitational potential of the galaxy holds important clues to understanding global star formation in galaxies. Past studies using numerical simulations were able to reproduce large-scale galactic arm structures and accompanying shocks that are responsible for forming stars along galactic arms. Recent improvements in our numerical simulation code make it possible to investigate small-scale chaotic features along large-scale spiral arms. Preliminary studies indicate that the secondary structures are due to shear instabilities in the gas.
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