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They create the simulation of the largest Universe to date and you can download it to your PC, if you have 3 petabytes of free space

Our abilities to travel the Universe, for now, are quite limited. The farthest we’ve got is to the edge of the Solar System with Voyager, Pioneer, and New Horizons. However, that is practically nothing, one millionth of what the Universe comprises. A group of researchers from Japan have a new idea to explore some concepts of the Universe: simulate it on a computer.


Called Uchuu (Japanese word meaning “outer space”), the simulation created by these researchers of the Universe is the largest and most realistic ever made till the date. They have virtually recreated a virtual Universe 9.63 billion light years across. Likewise, it has 2.1 trillion particles inside. Others are doing something similar but with the Earth.

To create such a monster they have used a supercomputer called ATERUI II with a total of 40,200 cores in its CPU. This supercomputer has worked on generating the virtual universe for 48 hours every month, getting a final file of 3 petabytes of data. Of course, they have been able to compress it so that it stays at around 100 terabytes.

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Studying the behavior of the Universe in one at scale

Before continuing, it must be understood that not all the planets, solar systems and galaxies that we know have been recreated. Instead Rather, the structure and behavior of the elements that make up the Universe have been recreated. The simulation imitates the connections and forms of interaction of these elements within the virtual cube. They say it represents about 75% of the distance between Earth and the most distant galaxies we can observe.

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With this “Universe to scale” the researchers essentially can travel in time throughout the billions of years that the Universe has from the Big Bang to the present. Within this simulation, researchers can move back and forth, as well as zoom in on galaxies or star clusters if they wish.

More information | NAO and GitHub