In a new study, an international team of researchers produced the Uchuu (“universe” in Japanese) simulation, which is the largest, most detailed and most realistic simulation ever made. This virtual universe has 2.1 trillion cube “particles” whose dimensions are 9.6 billion light years — and the best part is that it has been made available online, for anyone to access.
All this material was arranged in a computational cube, whose sides extend to distances equivalent to approximately 75% of those between Earth and the most distant galaxies we have ever observed. Thus, the simulation models the evolution of the universe over 13 billion years by focusing on the behavior of dark matter, revealing how the universe evolved in unprecedented detail.
Because it focused on the large-scale structure of the universe, the model did not include stars and planets, but it is so complete that the team was able to identify varied structures, ranging from clusters of galaxies to dark matter halos, present in individual galaxies. As this mysterious matter forms most of everything in the universe, it is also responsible for the formation and joining of galaxies into clusters.
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To be able to gather so much information at Uchuu, the team needed equally large computing power and storage space. They worked with over 40,000 computer cores and over 20 million computational hours to produce the simulation and, as a result, produced over 3 petabytes of data. This equates to 3,000 terabytes or, if you prefer, 3 million gigabytes.
Thanks to high-density compression, they were able to compress the results into “only” 100 terabytes. Public data has been stored in the cloud and you can explore it by clicking here.
The article with the results of the study was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Source: Universe Today, Phys.org
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