[Skip to Content]

Project area/S

  • The Local Universe
  • Cosmological Theory
  • Data Intensive Astronomy

Project Details

New observations with the Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope are revealing a host of extragalactic systems which are gravitationally interacting. These interactions are fundamental to the process of galaxy formation and evolution, and help drive the growth of mass and angular momentum in galaxies. One special brand-new discovery (WALLABY J123424+062511) has been of a binary galaxy system in which a new bridge of gas has been discovered. The system appears to be falling to-wards a massive cluster of galaxies which is stripping gas from the bridge. The project involves analysing the new radio and optical data for the system and modelling the origin of the system by modifying existing simulations. The project will help determine the dark matter content of the individual galaxies and better understand the mechanisms by which galaxies are stripped of gas as they approach the outer regions of large gravitation potential wells.

Student Attributes

Academic Background

Physics, some astrophysics

Computing Skills
Python useful

Training Requirement

Project Timeline

  • Week 1 Inductions and project introduction
  • Week 2 Initial Presentation
  • Week 3 Understanding the astrophysics of galaxies and galaxy interaction
  • Week 4 Understanding the WALLABY data and the tools used to measure and visualize the data. Fitting rotation curves to the individual components.
  • Week 5 Multiwavelength data discovery: downloading optical and UV data and learning how to view and overlay data. Separating gas clouds from other nearby galaxies.
  • Week 6 Understanding the models: learning what physical process-es the models are reproducing (gravity, self-gravity, ram pressure)
  • Week 7 Learning how to modifying the models in order to better re-produce the physical attributes of the interacting system (bridge and tail)
  • Week 8 Running multiple realisations with different input parameters
  • Week 9 Final Presentation
  • Week 10 Final Report


Dr Tobias Westmeier

Senior Research Fellow

Read More
Professor Luca Cortese

Interim Director, Science (UWA)

Read More
Professor Kenji Bekki

Principal Research Fellow

Read More