Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Royal Astronomical Society | 2019 Nov 07
Scientists from Germany and the United States have unveiled the results of a newly-completed, state of the art simulation of the evolution of galaxies. TNG50 is the most detailed large-scale cosmological simulation yet. It allows researchers to study in detail how galaxies form, and how they have evolved since shortly after the Big Bang. For the first time, it reveals that the geometry of the cosmic gas flows around galaxies determines galaxy structure, and vice versa.
Astronomers running cosmological simulations face a fundamental trade-off: with finite computing power, typical simulations so far have been either very detailed or have spanned a large volume of virtual space, but not both. Detailed simulations with limited volumes can model no more than a few galaxies, making statistical deductions difficult. Large-volume simulations, in turn, typically lack fine details on smaller scales, which are important for describing individual galaxies. The TNG50 simulation, which has just been published, manages to avoid this trade-off. For the first time, it combines the idea of a large-scale cosmological simulation – a Universe in a box – with the computational resolution of “zoom” simulations, at a level of detail that had previously only been possible for studies of individual galaxies.
In a simulated cube of space that is more than 230 million light-years across, TNG50 can discern physical phenomena that occur on scales one million times smaller, tracing the simultaneous evolution of thousands of galaxies over 13.8 billion years of cosmic history. It does so with more than 20 billion particles representing dark matter, stars, cosmic gas, magnetic fields, and supermassive black holes. The calculation itself required 16,000 cores on the Hazel Hen supercomputer in Stuttgart working together, 24/7, for more than a year – the equivalent of fifteen thousand years on a single processor, making it one of the most demanding astrophysical computations to date. ...
First Results from the TNG50 Simulation: The Evolution of Stellar
and Gaseous Disks Across Cosmic Time ~ Annalisa Pillepich et al
- Monthly Notices of the RAS 490(3):3196 (Dec 2019) DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz2338
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1902.05553 > 14 Feb 2019 (v1), 09 Sep 2019 (v2)
by Supernovae and Black Hole Feedback ~ Dylan Nelson et al