To learn how galaxies change over time, scientists have created the most complex simulation of a galaxy called TNG50. The data from this simulation was used to create the above video, which shows the evolution of a massive galaxy from the beginning of the Universe to the present day.
In the main window of the video denser gas is shown in lighter colors and thinner gas in darker colors, while the inserts show dark matter at lower left and star and gas distributions at lower right.
The complete simulation is a "universe in a box". "According to the Royal Astronomical Society, which combines both the scale of cosmological simulations and the level of detail normally only seen in studies of individual galaxies.
The entire simulated space has a diameter of more than 230 million light-years, but can have millions of smaller phenomena, allowing astronomers to look back on the earliest generation of galaxies and understand how they functioned in the 13th century In order to shred the enormous amount of data required for this project, researchers could not just use any old computer – they need the Stuttgart-based supercomputer Hazel Hen and have more than one Jah More than 16,000 cores have been used around the clock to create the simulation.
An important part of the simulation of the movements of galaxies is the modeling of dark matter, which we know to exist, but which we have never directly observed. Dark matter-representing particles are included in the simulation, as well as representations of stars, cosmic gases, magnetic fields, and supermassive black holes. Overall, the simulation contains more than 20 billion particles.
"Numerical experiments of this kind are particularly successful when you get more out of it than in it," Dr. Dylan Nelson from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics an explanation. "In our simulation we see phenomena that were not explicitly programmed into the simulation code. These phenomena arise naturally from the complex interplay of the fundamental physical components of our model universe. "
One particular finding relates to disk galaxies like our Milky Way. The simulation allowed scientists to see how ordered disk galaxies emerged from the young universe, which was chaotic and disorganized. As the Universe ages, the gas subsides and new stars are born in ever more circular orbits.
"In practice, TNG50 shows that our own Milky Way galaxy with its thin disk is at the pinnacle of galaxy fashions: About the past In ten billion years, at least the galaxies that are still forming new stars have become more disc-shaped, and theirs Chaotic internal movements have decreased considerably, "said the lead author. Annalisa Pillepich in the same statement. "The universe was a lot messier than it was only a few billion years old!"