Everyone knows the cure for existential ennui is the Three P’s: Pint (of ice cream), Pink Floyd, and Pretty space pictures. While we can’t provide you with ice cream or a psychedelic experience, we can offer you some truly sublime galaxy simulations that are sure to fill the void inside you—for now.
A study featured in this month’s Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society includes 30 high-resolution simulations of the formation of disc galaxies like our Milky Way, highlighting phenomena like the growth of black holes, the birth of new stars, supernova explosions, and more. The massive simulations took months to create, as the researchers had to run their code for an advanced physical model of galactic dynamics using German supercomputer systems like Hornet and SuperMUC.
“Astronomers will now be able to use our work to access a wealth of information, such as the properties of the satellite galaxies and the very old stars found in the halo that surrounds the galaxy,” Dr. Robert Grand, lead author on the study, said in a statement.
In addition to providing incredible insights into our galaxy and others like it, these images are spectacular just to gaze upon in wonderment:
Makes you feel lucky to live in this freaky space thing:
This image of magnetic field lines permeating interstellar space looks like a Van Gogh painting:
And this one represents the density of gas in the Milky Way about 2.4 billion years after the Big Bang. It looks like cosmic cotton candy:
Feeling better? If not, give these another glance with some ice cream and Dark Side of the Moon.