by Ancient Code
February 02, 2018

from Ancient-Code Website


Visualization of the strength of shock waves in the cosmic gas (blue)

around the collapsed structures of dark matter (orange/white).

Like in a sonic boom, the gas in these shock waves

accelerates when flowing into cosmic filaments and galaxies.

Image Credit: IllustrisTNG Collaboration

Named "Illustris - The Next Generation" or IllustrisTNG for short, it is the most detailed model of our universe ever created.

This impressive simulation shows 13 billion years of evolution, and scientists say it could help unlock the secrets of the cosmos.

Mapping out the ways galaxies evolve in the simulation offers a glimpse of what our own Milky Way galaxy might have been like when the Earth formed and how our galaxy could change in the future, say scientists.

Based on the basic laws of physics, the stunning simulation shows how our cosmos evolved from the 'Big Bang' and includes some of the physical processes that played a crucial role in the evolution.

The first results of the IllustrisTNG project have been published in three different papers published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


The findings, say experts, should help answer fundamental questions in cosmology.

IllustrisTNG is not the first simulation created by experts. In fact, it is a successor model to the original Illustris simulation developed by the same research team.


However, IllustrisTNG has been updated to include many of the physical processes that play crucial roles in the formation and evolution of galaxies.




To create the simulation, experts used evidence of the earliest days of our universe, gather from the Cosmic Microwave Background, leftover from the Big Bang.


With this data, scientists managed to model the conditions of the time when our universe was a mere few hundred years old.

Researchers then added baryonic matter, which forms stars and planets; they included dark matter, which is believed to enable galactic structures to grow; and finally dark energy, the mysterious force behind all cosmic acceleration.

All of these elements are then coded into the simulation together with equations that describe supernova explosions and black holes.



Dr. Shy Genel, of the Flatiron Institute's Centre for Computational Astrophysics, said:

"When we observe galaxies using a telescope, we can only measure certain quantities."

"With the simulation, we can track all the properties for all these galaxies. And not just how the galaxy looks now, but its entire formation history," Dr. Genel added.

At their points of intersection, the cosmic network of gas and dark matter predicted by IllustrisTNG harbor galaxies quite similar to the shape and size of real galaxies.



For the first time, the simulations allow us to directly calculate the detailed pattern of galaxy clusters in space.

The new simulation predicts how our cosmic web is altered over time, especially in relation to the dark matter that underlies the cosmos.

Volker Springel, of the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, and one of the experts that developed and programmed the simulation said:

"It is particularly fascinating that we can accurately predict the influence of supermassive black holes on the distribution of matter out to large scales," says Springel.

"This is crucial for reliably interpreting forthcoming cosmological measurements."













Here's your First Look at...

The Most Detailed Simulation of the Cosmos

...ever Made
by Christianna Reedy
February 03, 2018

from Futurism Website








Illustris - The Next Generation


The largest simulation of the cosmos ever run has boldly taken us where we have never gone before: the formation of the universe.


'Illustris - The Next Generation' (IllustrisTNG) utilized new computational methods to achieve a first of its kind universe-scale simulation.


The data-packed simulation has already fueled three papers, which were published Thursday, Feb 1, in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


The insights gleaned from the simulation have given researchers a new understanding of how black holes affect the distribution of the ever-elusive dark matter throughout galaxies.


Not only could these powerful gravity wells be preventing older galaxies from producing new stars, they could also be influencing the emergence of cosmic structures.


A single simulation run required 24,000 processors and a timespan of more than two months.


Germany's fastest mainframe computer, the Hazel Hen machine at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, ran the simulation twice.

"The new simulations produced more than 500 terabytes of simulation data," Volker Springel, principal investigator from the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, said in a press release.


"Analyzing this huge mountain of data will keep us busy for years to come, and it promises many exciting new insights into different astrophysical processes."

IllustrisTNG made these predictions by modeling the evolution of millions of galaxies in a representative region of a universe.


The cube-shaped area has sides that are nearly 1 billion light-years long. In the previous version (called Illustris), the model area's sides were only 350 million light-years long.


The updated program also introduced some crucial physical processes that had not been included in previous simulations.





Verifiable Predictions


These updated features allowed IllustrisTNG to model a universe remarkably similar to our own.


For the first time, the clustering patterns of the simulated galaxies demonstrated a high degree of realism in comparison to the patterns we see from powerful telescopes, such as those at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.


If the program's verifiable predictions about dark matter, galaxy formation, and magnetic fields continue to prove accurate, we'll be able to put greater stock in the insights it provides about processes we haven't been able to observe with even the most advanced telescopes.

"When we observe galaxies using a telescope, we can only measure certain quantities," Shy Genel, a scientist at the Flatiron Institute's Center for Computational Astrophysics who worked on the development of IllustrisTNG, said in the press release.


"With the simulation, we can track all the properties for all these galaxies. And not just how the galaxy looks now, but its entire formation history."

By mapping out the histories of model galaxies, we may get a glimpse of what the Milky Way looked like as Earth came into being. We could even get an idea of how our galaxy might evolve billions of years from now.


In the years to come, this simulation might prompt some astronomers to simply adjust their telescopes to look for newly predicted stellar processes.


For example, the simulation of the cosmos predicted that galaxy collisions that form larger galaxies should produce faint stellar light.


Specific details about where to look for this background glow could allow astronomers to confirm their theories about these intergalactic events.