Scientists have created a virtual universe. And it can be downloaded

Astronomy, which is the science that studies the universe, can amaze the imagination. In the meantime, you can doubt it, our planet rotates around its axis and carries us through space at a speed of almost 1700 km / h relative to someone at the equator. Our Milky Way galaxy, in turn, together with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy and several other galaxies, are united in the so-called local group, where each galaxy moves in a common gravitational field. But beyond the local group lies a distant and infinite cosmos. So at a distance of 22 million light-years you can find the galaxy NGC 3621, located in the southern constellation Hydra. And the farther we move away from home, the more galaxies we will see. It is unlikely that the human imagination can cope with the perception of the infinite universe, in whose greatness God knows what is going on. And yet we have the tools to somehow solve this mental problem. Recently, an international team of scientists created the largest and most realistic virtual universe to date called Uchuu (which means “outer space” in Japanese). And yes, you can download it.

Scientists have created a completely virtual universe, and it can be downloaded

Computers in astronomy

Today, research in astronomy and astrophysics is not complete without the most powerful computers. They help researchers to observe and process data, compile catalogs and work with documents. Robotic telescopes and radio telescopes allow astronomers to track the movements of thousands of stars. And the use of numerical methods allows you to achieve truly amazing results in computing.

As astrophysicist Sergey Popov writes, some modern astronomical projects belong to the so-called. Big data science. The work of the tool is largely determined by the ability to work with the information received.

Astronomy is a special science. In it, experiments are replaced by observation. That is why modeling has a special role “, writes Popov.

The most powerful supercomputers are used for astrophysical modeling. The tasks that astrophysicists face are very complex

In addition, the work of a modern astronomer can not be imagined without a computer. With their help, researchers can check the tools and then, with the help of powerful modern analysis methods, process the data obtained. So from telescope to computer one step.

Больше по теме: Астрономы нанесли на карту Вселенной три миллиона новых галактик

Computer models of the universe

Attempts to generate a computer model of the universe that would tell its evolution for more than 13 billion years (that is, since the Big Bang) were made repeatedly. So already in 2014, during the course of the work published in the journal Nature, scientists performed numerical simulations of the formation of cosmic structure, and reproduced both large-scale and small-scale properties in a representative volume of the universe from the beginning of its history until today.

The work reflects both the large-scale distribution of baryonic matter in the universe and the change of its properties over time in specific galactic systems. Remember that scientists call baryonic matter consisting of baryons (neutrons, protons) and electrons.

And in the image below, you can see the results of the work of researchers from the New York Flatiron Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They succeeded in developing and programming a new model for modeling the universe, called Illustris: The Next Generation, or Illustris TNG.

Here is a computer model of the universe that boasts unmatched levels of detail about the forces at work in the universe.

Until 2021, this model was the most advanced universe simulation of its kind. The details and scope of the simulations allow us to study how galaxies form, evolve and grow in step with their star-forming activity.

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When we observe galaxies with a telescope, we can only measure certain quantities, he writes the researchers. Using simulations, we can track all the properties of all these galaxies. And not just what the galaxy looks like now, but also the whole story of its formation.

Showing how galaxies evolve in simulations gives an idea of ​​what our own Milky Way galaxy may have looked like when the earth was formed and how our galaxy may change in the future.

Uchuu – a new model of the universe

Recently, an international team of researchers from Japan, Spain, USA, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France and Italy published the results of their real breakthrough work. Now you can (if you have a free hard drive) keep one of these simulations on your computer. The simulation called Uchuu is the most detailed simulation of the universe ever created.

Учуу содержит 2,1 триллиона "частиц" в пространстве диаметром 9,6 миллиарда световых лет. Имитационное моделирование демонстрирует эволюцию Вселенной на протяжении более 13 миллиардов лет, но не фокусируется на образовании звезд и планет, а вместо этого рассматривает поведение темной материи в расширяющейся Вселенной.

According to the Science Alert portal, the simulation was created using the supercomputer ATERUI II, which is dedicated to astronomical projects. The supercomputer, located in Iwate, Japan, has a top performance of over 3 PFlops, but even with all that power, it took a whole year to go through all the data and create a simulation.

The Uchuu simulation, the most detailed simulation of the universe to date. Modeling: Tomoaki Ishiyama; Visualization: Hirotaka Nakayama; Project 4D2U, NAOJ

For the production of Uchuu, we used … all 40,200 processors (processor cores) available exclusively for 48 hours each month, said Tomoaki Ishiyama, associate professor at Chiba University, who developed the code for the project. Twenty million supercomputer hours were consumed and 3 petabytes of data were generated, corresponding to 894,784,853 images from a 12-megapixel mobile phone.

The simulations look at dark matter halos, which are huge structures that can tell us about the formation of galaxies and the early universe. The large-scale nature of the simulation makes it a valuable tool for studying how how the universe has evolved over timebecause it shows very remote regions, which represent the early stages of universe life.

“Uchuu is like a time machine,” Giulia Ereza, a doctoral student at the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics in Spain, who uses Uchuu, told News18.

Today you can go on a space trip without leaving your home.

We can go forward, backward and stop in time, we can “zoom in” a galaxy or “shrink” it to visualize an entire cluster, we can see what is really happening in every moment and in every place in the universe from its very early days to the present, which is an important tool for studying the cosmos, “states Erez. In addition, humanity has never had such tools before.

So if you want to independently explore a new virtual model of the universe, go ahead: the team did the whole simulation available for free download. Although we have to warn you – even in compressed form, the simulation takes up 100 terabytes, so you will need a lot of free space on your hard drive.

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To download the simulation and learn more about interacting with it, visit the Uchuu simulation website and related GitHub page. The group also plans to release more data in the future, including catalogs of virtual galaxies and gravitational maps with lenses. The work was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Uchuu focuses on the large-scale structure of the universe: dark matter-halos that control not only the formation of galaxies, but the fate of the entire universe.

Uchu’s developers hope the model will help astronomers learn to interpret the Big Data studies of galaxies expected in the coming years with objects such as the Subaru Telescope and ESA’s space mission Euclid.

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Recently, a new type of astronomy called “simulation astronomy” has emerged that uses computers. With the help of supercomputers’ processing power, we can now numerically solve equations that cannot be solved analytically. ATERUI II aims to depict a more realistic universe through simulation with its high computational speed.

Welcome to the new world of amazing astronomical discoveries and high technology. Are you going to install Uchuu on your computer? We are waiting for the answer here, as well as in the comments to this article!

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