Researchers Generated the Largest Virtual Universe Free for Anyone to Explore

Largest Virtual Universe Free for Anyone to Explore

If you want to explore the entire universe through your computer, now is your chance. An international team of researchers has created an entirely virtual universe, and made it available to all.

The researchers described this simulation, which they called “Uchuu”, as the most comprehensive and detailed of the universe.

The Uchuu simulation contains 2.1 trillion ‘particles’ in a space 9.6 billion light-years across. The simulation models the evolution of the Universe across more than 13 billion years. It doesn’t focus on the formation of stars and planets but instead looks at the behavior of dark matter within an expanding Universe.

The detail of Uchuu is high enough that the team can identify everything from galaxy clusters to the dark matter halos of individual galaxies. Since dark matter makes up most of the matter in the Universe, it is the main driver of galaxy formation and clustering.

Space and time travel machine

According to the Japanese Center for Computational Astrophysics, the Uchuu simulation focuses on the composition of the massive structures of the universe that form the mysterious halos of dark matter one of its most important pillars. These halos control not only the formation of galaxies, but the fate of the entire universe.

These giant structures range in size from the largest galaxy clusters to the smallest galaxies, so don’t expect to find individual stars and planets in this hypothetical universe.

On the other hand, this simulation has a unique advantage compared to other virtual worlds developed by researchers previously, which is its ability to simulate the evolution of matter over the history of the universe, which is approximately 13.8 billion years from the Big Bang to the present.

According to the researchers, ” Uchuu” will be like a time machine and will enable virtual travel throughout the universe and at different times since its inception, with the ability to stop at every moment of its history and take a general look at it or focus on a small part of it, which will make it an important tool for studying the universe.

The giant ” Uchuu” is in your hands

International team of researchers from Japan, Spain, USA, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France and Italy has created Uchuu using ATERUI II, the world’s most powerful supercomputer dedicated to astronomy.

It takes a tremendous amount of computational power and storage to create such a detailed model. The team used over 40,000 computer cores and 20 million computer hours to generate their simulation, and it produced more than 3 Petabytes of data.

That’s 3,000 TB or 3 million GB for us mortals. Using high-density compression, however, the team was able to compress their results into a mere 100 TB of storage.

Fortunately, if you don’t have that much spare change, you can access the data online. The Uchuu team has their raw data on skiesanduniverses.org, so you can explore their virtual universe all you want.

In addition to being a detailed cosmic simulation, the Uchuu simulation can be used by researchers working on scientific data mining. As large sky surveys and more simulations are created, the data will become so large data mining will play a crucial role in astronomical research.

Sources:

https://www.cfca.nao.ac.jp/en/pr/20210910

http://skiesanduniverses.org/

https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/506/3/4210/6307536?redirectedFrom=fulltext