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This timelapse was shows the distribution of matter in a simulated universe on l arge scales. The computer simulation (name: BHCosmo) was carried out on the Cray XT3 at the P ittsburgh Supercomputer Center by Tiziana Di Matteo (CMU) and the visualization by Yu Feng and Rupert Croft on facilities provided

The full

image is 600 million light years in width and the density of matter is being shown on a false color scale, with the densest regions in yellow and the least dense in red and black. The very densest regions have formed stars, which are shown as white points.

Unlike images of the real Universe seen

through optical telecopes, in the simulated image it is possible to see the film entary structures that stretch through the space between galaxies. These structures contain mostly hydr ogen and helium gas. The only luminous matter is in galaxies, which are much sparser.

To see these, we

zoom in, where small blobs of gas (in dark blue) and stars (in white) become apparent: t hese are whole galaxies. As the universe evolves from early times (it starts at an age of two hundred mil lion years after the Big Bang) the initially small fluctuations grow through the action of gravity until in the

last frame (which 

represents the universe 7 billion years later, at redshift z=1) there are large clusters of galaxies. If you zoom in and scroll around you will see that clusters contain many small galaxies as well as large ones.

More details in: Di Matteo et al.,