N-Body Simulations of the Antennae

Chris Power

Dept. of Physics, Science Laboratories, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom

John Hibbard

National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903-2475, USA.


Collisions between galaxies can be dealt with analytically only in very specific cases. Unfortunately, the conditions that are prevalent in the bulk of galaxy interactions rarely satisfy these idealisations and so, when considering such situations, the researcher must make use of N-Body simulations to model the encounters. In general, pictorial representations of the time evolution of such encounters is desired.

In this report, I will discuss my work in this area; in particular I will concentrate on how I developed a means to convert observational and simulation data into a form that is readable by the interactive 3 dimensional visualization tool, Geomview. I will also describe my work on the matching of simulation and observational data for the case of NGC 4038/9, the "Antennae", as well as the motivation for such model matching and the characteristic features of a system that are particularly suited to such fitting.

As an interesting aside, I indulged myself and present brief discussions on The History of Mergers and previous attempts to model the "Antennae" in Numerical Models of NGC 4038/9.

This paper can be downloaded for prining in either postscript or PDF format, or may be viewed online as a HTML document.

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Chris Power, Last Updated: 14th Septmeber 1999

N-Body Simulations of the Antennae