Astronomers simulate an entire virtual universe that you can even download for free

The universe is very big, and it feels astonishing if we imagine a tour of it. Luckily you can do it just by sitting in front of your computer, as a team of astronomers from all around the world has created the largest computer simulation of the universe called Uchuu. You can even download it for free but that’s not going to be easy trust me.

Uchuu (means “outer space” in Japanese) simulation is the largest and most descriptive simulation of the universe ever made (yet) and involves 2.1 trillion ‘particles’ in space which is 9.6 billion light-years wide on each side.

The simulation also shows the different changes in the universe since 13 billion years. However, it neglected the formation of stars and planets but focused mainly on the behavior of dark matter as the universe expanded.

The vast range of information in Uchuu is enough for the team to identify everything from galaxy clusters to the dark matter halos of individual galaxies. And also making it the perfect tool for studying how the universe evolved over time.

Dark Matter distributions from the Uchuu virtual universe simulation
Dark Matter distributions from the simulation

As very much computational power is needed for the development of such large projects, astronomers made this simulation with the help of supercomputer ATERUI II (located in Iwate, Japan), which has a peak performance of over 3 Pflops and took a whole year to make this happen, reports ScienceAlert.

Along with the supercomputer, about 40,000 computer cores and 20 million computer hours were used for the development of this simulation. Which then produced 3 Petabytes of data, but the team compressed it into 100 TB of storage (still huge but can be stored in a single drive).

You can buy a respective drive if you want to keep this virtual universe “Uchuu” with you and find out more by interacting with it or can access it online by visiting skiesanduniverses.org and its related GitHub page

The team is now planning to release more data in the future, and use it for their work on scientific data mining.

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