This simulation is a full cosmological N-body model based on the "cold dark matter theory". It shows how the continuous accretion of clumps of dark matter and stars creates diffuse structures in the haloes of massive elliptical galaxies. These bear a striking resemblance to the shells observed around the nearby elliptical galaxy NGC 7600. The movie has been edited to blend in NGC7600 and to enter at the formation of the shell structures.
Here is a link to the full length simulation: vimeo.com/32271838
Movie Credits: J. Helly, A. Cooper, S. Cole and C. Frenk (ICC), based on simulation data from The Virgo consortium and software by V. Springel.
NGC7600 by Ken Crawford and in collaboration with David Martinez-Delgado imagingdeepsky.com/Galaxies/NGC7600/NGC7600.htm
Images by Ken Crawford imagingdeepsky.com