A large galaxy cluster — together with a dense halo of dark matter — formed at the centre of the simulated Universe. Courtesy Illustris.
A new virtual depiction of the cosmos developed by scientists in the US, Germany and England shows detail never before achieved in a computer-generated simulation. The numerical-based model Illustris covers the universe's 13 billion-year evolution, starting 12 million years after the Big Bang, or creation. It accurately depicts various galaxies' distribution and makeup.
More in the journal Nature:
Mark Vogelsberger, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and his colleagues created a model of the Universe that follows the evolution of both visible and dark matter starting just 12 million years after the Big Bang (see video). While previous models have either been small and detailed or large and coarse, this simulation covers a region of space big enough to be representative of the whole Universe — a cube 106.5 megaparsecs (350 million light years) across — but is detailed enough to resolve small-scale structures, such as individual galaxies. Unlike previous simulations, it produces a mixture of galaxy shapes that fit observations well. Its also accurately recreates the large-scale distribution of galaxy clusters and neutral gas in the Universe, as well as the hydrogen and heavy element content of galaxies.
Vogelsberger says that the simulation's success is down to its improved algorithms, and the fact that its calculations include a rich variety of physics, such as the formation of supermassive black holes and their effect on their environments. The model, called Illustris, requires a huge amount of computing power: running it on even a state-of-the-art desktop computer would take almost 2,000 years, he adds. Even run across more than 8,000 processors, the simulation still took several months.
Launch announcement here.
"Large scale projection through the Illustris volume at z=0, centered on the most massive cluster, 15 Mpc/h deep. Shows dark matter density (left) transitioning to gas density (right)." Illustris.
At The Malware Musuem you can enjoy the experience of DOS-era viruses, trojans and other digital beasties without any of the risk. Many of them manifested as wild graphical tricks and other spectacular coding feats, distracting you as they formatted hard drives or corrupted files. The Malware Museum is a collection of malware programs, usually […]
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
Light used to just be one of two things: on or off. Simple as that. Either a flood of yellow or total darkness. Then the dimmer switch happened and you could adjust the brightness to meet your seductive needs and suddenly everyone looked a little better in the gentler light. And now your luminary universe […]
Projects will always need management. And now with the tech gold rush it feels like there are more projects than ever with fewer managers than there’s demand for. But it takes too much time and money to go back to school full time so luckily the Project Management Professional certification training course is now 96% […]
If you’ve been blessed enough to avoid them yourself, you’ve definitely heard the horror stories. Late night, crushing out a ton of work, writing, coding, anything, then boom – your computer crashes. The battery blows, you spill water or coffee all over the place, or it just shuts down with no explanation, and you’re screwed. […]