Scientists have developed a new computer simulation capable of modeling the birth and evolution of the universe. Here’s a mere 9 billion years of galactic formation, shown here in 78 seconds:
The software’s called Arepo and it was developed by scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies.
Here’s an explanation from Wired’s Liat Clark: “Unlike previous model simulators, such as the Gadget code, Arepo’s hydrodynamic model replicates the gaseous formations following the Big Bang by using a virtual, flexible grid that has the capacity to move to match the motions of the gas, stars, dark matter and dark energy that make up space — it’s like a virtual model of the cosmic web, able to bend and flex to support the matter and celestial bodies that make up the universe. Old simulators instead used a more regimented, fixed, cubic grid.”
(Via io9′s Robert Gonzalez.)