Simulations of galaxy collisions prove accurate… also amazing video

In September, I posted about Bolshoi, the most accurate computer simulation of the universe in the world. (Visualizations from Bolshoi were also seen in Bjork's Biophiliar performance.) Bolshoi's co-creator, UC Santa Cruz astrophysicist Joel Primack, has now emailed me this thrilling news confirming the accuracy of his computer simulations. Joel says:

By comparing Hubble Space Telescope observations to our simulations, we have for the first time accurately measured the rate at which galaxies merge with each other in the universe from nearby out to when it was about 1/3 of its present age. Such mergers play a crucial role in galaxy evolution.

"Astronomers Pin Down Galaxy Collision Rate" (NASA)

"Astronomers pin down galaxy collision rates by comparing Hubble Space Telescope photographs to supercomputer simulations" (UC-HIPACC)