A new view of observed galaxies through 3D modelling and visualisation

Timothy Dykes, Claudio Gheller, Baerbel Koribalski, Klaus Dolag, Mel Krokos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Observational astronomers survey the sky in great detail to gain a better understanding of many types of astronomical phenomena. In particular, the formation and evolution of galaxies, including our own, is a wide field of research. Three dimensional (spatial 3D) scientific visualisation is typically limited to simulated galaxies, due to the inherently two dimensional spatial resolution of Earth-based observations. However, with appropriate means of reconstruction, such visualisation can also be used to bring out the inherent 3D structure that exists in 2D observations of known galaxies, providing new views of these galaxies and visually illustrating the spatial relationships within galaxy groups that are not obvious in 2D. We present a novel approach to reconstruct and visualise 3D representations of nearby galaxies based on observational data using the scientific visualisation software Splotch. We apply our approach to a case study of the nearby barred spiral galaxy known as M83, presenting a new perspective of the M83 local group and highlighting the similarities between our reconstructed views of M83 and other known galaxies of similar inclinations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomy and Computing
Early online date23 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 23 Jan 2021

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