The team of astronomers from the University of Leiden and Durham University have developed a simulation of the universe in which realistic galaxies are created. The project took several months to complete. Led by professor Joop Schaye of Leiden University, the project was carried out at the Cosmology Machine (COSMA) at Durham and Curie at Paris.
The galaxies formed in the EAGLE project (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) look so close to reality and backed by simulation of strong galactic winds, their mass, size and age were able to be distributed similar to those of galaxies that astronomers observed in the Universe.
Well, simulation of the universe is not as surprising as that of time travel simulation which resolves grandfather paradox as simulations like these had been done previously although with limited success. Galaxies formed in earlier simulations were unpredictable as some of them turned out to be too massive, too small, too old and too spherical.
However, galaxies formed in the EAGLE simulation are stronger and much more precise than earlier simulations because of the galactic winds which are powered by stars, supernova explosions and supermassive black holes. Also in this simulation, galaxies formed are lighter and younger because fewer stars form and they form later.
“The universe generated by the computer is just like the real thing. There are galaxies everywhere, with all the shapes, sizes and colours I’ve seen with the world’s largest telescopes. It is incredible. In the EAGLE universe I can even press a button to make time run backwards,” says coauthor Richard Bower from Durham University.
With a simulation project like this, astronomers can now use the results to study the evolution of galaxies from almost 14 billion years ago until now.
- Source: Durham University
- Image via Flickr