See a Slice of the Cosmos in This Universe Simulator



Scientists and researchers have simulated a portion of the universe in a computer. The result, Illustris, is a slice of cosmos 350 million cubic light years in size, containing 41,416 modeled galaxies.

See also: A Breathtaking Reminder of Earth’s Minuscule Place in the Universe

It’s impressive, but it’s nowhere close to the full picture. Our best guess puts the number of galaxies in the observable universe at more than 170 billion.

Still, for these sample galaxies, Illustris manages to simulate 13 billion years of evolution in three minutes. It accurately defines their shapes, sizes and distribution of elements. Lead author Mark Vogelsberger, an assistant professor of physics at MIT, calls it a breakthrough of sorts. Read more…

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