Episode 68: Untangling the Origins of Polar Ring Galaxies

With Dr Nathan Deg

This week Dr Nathan Deg returns to The Cosmic Savannah to discuss polar ring galaxies and how he models these incredible structures.

Nathan is a returning guest on The Cosmic Savannah. During the episode Nathan discusses his recent pivot from galaxy simulations and his work at UCT (University of Cape Town) to his current work on galaxy modelling and observations at Queens University in Canada. Nathan also regales us with tales of his recent paper on polar ring galaxies.

Polar ring galaxies are a type of galaxy with an outer ring of gas and stars that rotates over the poles of the galaxies. They are truly some of the most beautiful sights to see in the Universe but much of their origin is a tangled web of theories and mysteries. During this episode we learn how astronomer like Nathan are using innovative galaxy modelling and observation techniques to untangle this web.

During the episode Nathan converses with Jacinta about doughnuts, cigars, jellybeans and some astronomy as well.

Join us for this exciting episode of The Cosmic Savannah.

Polar ring galaxies

Video showing how NGC 4632 was discovered using Virtual Reality.
The hydrogen gas ring of NGC 4632 as seen in virtual reality using the iDaVIE software package. In this visualization, the main body is the central, elongated cylinder while the ring wraps around it.

Video Production: Nathan Deg (Queen’s U.), Tom Jarrett (UCT), Fiona Odlum (U. Manitoba); IDIA Visualization lab/UCT.
Science Credit: N. Deg and K. Spekkens (Queen’s U.) and WALLABY survey (CSIRO/ASKAP).

This Week’s Guest


Article on Dr Nathan Deg’s recent paper: https://idia.ac.za/2023/09/13/astronomers-reveal-cosmic-ribbon-around-rare-galaxy/

CHIME telescope website: https://chime-experiment.ca/en

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Podcast Manager/ Show notes: Francois Campher

Social Media management: Sumari Hatting


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