Theresa Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You may continue to work with others if you want to do this assignment jointly.
Note the last question will require you to run a JAVA applet in your browser and to work with data.
Galaxies frequently run into each other and have a tidal interaction. You will use a computational engine to model two interacting galaxies to see if you can reproduce the observed morphology of two real systems.
This applet is doing calculations in your browser concerning the gravitational interaction between galaxies. You can twiddle the dials with left or right mouse button to change orientations. You can change mass ratios and distances of closest approach (peri parameter). You can choose to have a big dark matter halo around the galaxies or not (that's the Big Halo box).
Your mission is to see if you can produce a simulation that looks like the real system below which is loaded as a background image in the engine. When the colored dots more or less overlap with the image, you can consider that a reasonably good model.
Record the parameters of that simulation and the time (in millions of years, its printed at the top of the applet) when the simulation sort of looks like the real system.
There are two systems to model: (note: to get the simulation to fire up the first time hit start,stop,reset, start. Just hitting start may not work).