Dynamics of Galaxy Interactions

5. Self-Consistent `Lookalikes'

Sneaking Up On The Mice

Optical image of `The Mice', NGC 4676. North is right, east is up. Image courtesy John Hibbard.

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Simulation of The Mice. A close encounter between two identical disk galaxies produces a configuration resembling The Mice (Hibbard & Barnes, in preparation). Here the encounter is seen from our viewpoint, almost edge-on to the orbital plane. The numbers at upper right show elapsed time in units of about 160 million years. Pericenter occurs at time 1.0; the best match to NGC 4676, shown above, is attained about one time unit later.

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Rotation about NS axis. The three-dimensional structure of this model, at the time best matching the observations, is revealed by rotation about the north-south axis. As the view above shows, the northern tail appears straight because we view it almost edge-on.

Joshua E. Barnes (barnes@galileo.ifa.hawaii.edu)

Last modified: June 16, 1997