Description What would happen if two planets the size of Jupiter collided? At Northwestern, a research team designed highly-specialized computer programs to find out. This image shows the simulated planetary system shortly after collision. The two circles represent the planets original orbits. (They crashed where the orbits were very close together on the right-hand side.) The spiraling cloud is planetary matter sprayed out across the system. The bright object near the bottom of the image could be a new planet forming from the remains--notice how it no longer follows either of the original orbits. Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration & Research in Astrophysics (CIERA)Northwestern UniversityComputer simulation laid over a Kepler telescope image
These images stem from cutting-edge research on campus, winning our annual Scientific Images Contest which goes on display in galleries across Chicago.
Through partnerships with schools and community groups, we train Northwestern researchers to share their expertise and creativity in a community centered way. Sales from these images goes to support our education and outreach activities, connecting researchers to the wider community.