No Elliptical Galaxies Expected in a Simulation
A new cosmological simulation was unveiled but it appears to ignore elliptical galaxies and galaxies within clusters.
TNG50 is the most detailed large-scale cosmological simulation yet. It allows researchers to study in detail how galaxies form, and how they have evolved since shortly after the Big Bang. For the first time, it reveals that the geometry of the cosmic gas flows around galaxies determines galaxies’ structures, and vice versa.
In a simulated cube of space that is more than 230 million light-years across, TNG50 can discern physical phenomena that occur on scales one million times smaller, tracing the simultaneous evolution of thousands of galaxies over 13.8 billion years of cosmic history. It does so with more than 20 billion particles representing dark (invisible) matter, stars, cosmic gas, magnetic fields, and supermassive black holes.
I noticed the token reference to 'magnetic fields' but I doubt their correct role as being critical.
The story has a video where a galaxy forms by drawing in more matter from its nearby space so it grows only by accumulation. This suggests every run of the simulation results in one huge galaxy which by gravity consumed everything around it.
I am immediately disappointed in the lack of elliptical galaxies and of galaxy clusters.
Nearly every observed large galaxy cluster has a giant elliptical galaxy.
There are certainly many observed clusters of galaxies having a diversity of galaxy types.
Instead of actually studying galaxy evolution this is a game (in a cube of 230 mly on each side) to simulate only spiral galaxies.
From Earth we have these elliptical galaxies well within this cube size:
Maffei 1 @ 10 mly, NGC 5128 @ 12.4 mly, M105 @ 36 mly, M59 @ 50 mly, M87 @ 53 mly, M84 @ 57 mly, M86 @ 57 mly, M60 @ 57 mly.
I expect every gamer likes to play with Milky Way simulations but there are elliptical galaxies out there too!
Since there are a number of them around it is reasonable to conclude they play a role in the evolution of the more frequent spirals.
It is also reasonable to conclude a combination of nearby galaxies in a cluster will play a role in the evolution of a single galaxy within a cluster.
I expect a later software upgrade to this simulation will include these advanced features.
Cosmologists enjoy their simulations like of the big bang and now of spiral galaxies.
Hit back to go to previous page in history.
Here is the list of topics in this Cosmology Topic Group .
Ctrl + for zoom in; Ctrl - for zoom out ; Ctrl 0 for no zoom;
triple-tap for zoom to fit; pinch for zoom change; pinched for no zoom