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Galaxy Collisions and Merger3

Galaxy Collisions and Merger3 - very distorted galaxies are...

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Galaxy Collisions and Mergers When two galaxies collide the stars will pass right on by each other without colliding. The distances between stars is so large compared to the sizes of the stars that star-star collisions are very rare when the galaxies collide. The orbits of the stars can be radically changed, though. Gravity is a long-range force and is the primary agent of the radical changes in a galaxy's structure when another galaxy comes close to it. Computer simulations show that a small galaxy passing close to a disk galaxy can trigger the formation of spiral arms in the disk galaxy. Alas! The simulations show that the arms do not last long. Part of the reason may be in the low resolution of the simulations. The stars may be flung out from the colliding galaxies to form long arcs. Several examples of
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Unformatted text preview: very distorted galaxies are seen with long antenna-like arcs. In some collisions a small galaxy will collide head-on with a large galaxy and punch a hole in the large galaxy. The stars are not destroyed. The star orbits in the large galaxy are shifted to produce a ring around a compact core. Select the "Antennae Galaxies formation movie" link below to show a movie of a computer simulation from Joshua Barnes showing the formation of the Antennae Galaxies. It is a Quicktime movie, so you will need a Quicktime viewer. The red particles are the dark matter particles and the white and green are stars and gas, respectively. Other collision movies are available on Barnes' Galaxy Transformations web site and on Chris Mihos' Galaxy Collisions and Mergers website ....
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