This NASA simulation of a galaxy is begging for a snazzy soundtrack

This computer simulation uses what we know about physical forces in the universe to model how a galaxy might have been born, and how it might grow over 13.5 billion years.

This cosmological simulation follows the development of a single disk galaxy over about 13.5 billion years, from shortly after the Big Bang to the present time. Colors indicate old stars (red), young stars (white and bright blue) and the distribution of gas density (pale blue); the view is 300,000 light-years across. The simulation ran on the Pleiades supercomputer at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and required about 1 million CPU hours. It assumes a universe dominated by dark energy and dark matter.

The result is a beautiful (if silent) video that is significantly labeled as public domain. It seemed like something you guys might enjoy playing around with.

Check out this Wikipedia article for more information on the growth of galaxies

Via labgrab


  1. I disagree:  It doesn’t need a sound track; it’s great all by itself. Too bad the video isn’t 1080.  (I’m so tired of sound tracks mediating how I’m supposed to feel…)

    I wish this was a flash file that I could slow down, run backwards, etc.

    1. Woo!  Thanks, I’ve discovered some new music.

      (I’m tempted to watch the video again on super slow, but while listening to Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians.)

      /Edited to add: I found a nice video of a performance of Mf18M in Tokyo, featuring closeups of the performers. It reminds you that the music is still made by people’s hands, lungs, and voices.

      I don’t know if you’ve ever attended a live performance of Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi. There’s the same magic. It’s very invigorating!

    1. Ooh, QI stinker here methinks, I’ll go for it!
      The spiral arms are epiphenomena, something like pressure waves, travelling through the galactic medium.
      *glances behind at big display

    1.  Dang, I thought the exact same thing while I was typing!  Soundless space was one of the things that made 2001: A Space Odyssey so brilliant.  But a phone call made me forget it.

  2. To match the clip’s 2:17 duration and be suitably themed, you could try Flying (The Beatles), Become Life (Bob Holroyd), Twilight in the Magic Forest (“Best of the Pleiades” album), or O Tempo Samba by Grupo Batuque (great sound for the visuals; the thematic connection is via the Far Out label ;-)

  3. Blush Response – Vangelis.
    Set about 1:38 of the song relative to the start of the video.
    Edit: perhaps that should be… 1.37

  4. Only soundtrack it needs is a scientist talking about the animation, identifying key points as it plays to aid in the educational aspect.

    It’s pretty informative like it is, but there’s nothing quite like someone with a doctorate creating some background with additional facts.

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