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Formation of a Polar Disk Galaxy

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Uploaded on Feb 5, 2008

Polar Ring Galaxies, such as NGC4650A, are a class of galaxy which have two kinematically distinct components that are inclined by almost 90 degrees to each other. These striking galaxies challenge our understanding of how galaxies form; the origin of their distinct components has, until now remained uncertain, and the subject of much debate. This simlation shows the formation of a polar disk galaxy. The animation begins with the gas expanding with the Hubble Flow, before collapsing under gravity and forming a disk. After a major merger, a disk galaxy rapidly re-forms. Subsequently, gas begins to be accreted from a direction highly inclined to the inner disk, with a polar disk forming which is perpendicular to the original disk.
Credits:
Fabio Governato (University of Washington)
James Wadsley (McMaster University)
Alyson Brooks (University of Washington)
Tom Quinn (University of Washington)
Chris Brook (University of Washington)
for the detailed science, see http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.1051
contact: fabio@astro.washington.edu

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