You can now download most detailed simulation of the universe!
Astronomers can't compare multiple universes to ours because there is only one universe known to exist. So, to study the effects of how dark matter and dark energies affect the universe, astronomers resorted to computer simulations where they tweak parameters, study the effects, and learn. The most detailed such simulation can now be accessed free of charge and even crammed on a single drive.
Before we get started, it helps to know that dark matter is a hypothetical invisible mass that adds gravity to galaxies, without affecting the normal matter in any way such as by absorbing photons of light, earning it the name dark matter. Meanwhile, dark energy is hypothesized to be responsible for accelerating the expansion of the universe, a yet unexplained, but observed phenomenon.
The latest Uchuu simulation is the world's most detailed and hence largest simulation of the universe ever made. The simulation models the expansion of the universe across over 13 billion years and spans 9.6 billion light-years across. The simulation consists of 2.1 trillion "particles" in space but instead of focusing on planets or stars, it looks at how dark matter changed in the universe.
To create the 3-petabyte (3,000TB) Uchuu simulation, over 40,000 computer cores toiled for 20 million computer hours. But here's the kicker. The entire simulation of the universe has been compressed down to 100TB, making it possible to store on a pocketable hard drive. Unfortunately, high-capacity drives are expensive for individual use. But the Uchuu team's raw simulation data is also available on skiesanduniverses.org
The immense computational power required to process such a colossal simulation was borrowed from the ATERUI II supercomputer in Japan and the skun6@IAA computer facility in Spain. Universe Today reported that the detail in the Uchuu simulation is high enough to identify galaxy clusters and dark matter halos of individual galaxies that drive galaxy formation and clustering.
The Uchuu simulation can also be used by researchers working on scientific data mining. As larger sky surveys are created, the data will become so large that mining will always play a role in astronomical research.