Scientists Create New Virtual Cosmos

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (May 7, 2014) A new virtual cosmos created by U.S., German and English researchers includes details never before achieved in a simulation.

Called Illustris, the numerical-based model covers the 13 billion-year evolution of the universe beginning just 12 million years after the Big Bang, or creation, and it accurately depicts the distribution and composition of various types of galaxies.

Illustris, which was developed by a team led by astrophysicist Mark Vogelsberger of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was described in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

The Illustris creators say it represents "a significant step forward in modeling galaxy formation" and they attribute their success to advanced computer power.

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