It's like "flying through the universe way faster than the speed of light and watching galaxies as they are assembling," says one of the researchers who has created a stunning visual simulation of how the universe formed. The "Illlustris" model created by an international team of researchers using supercomputers is so complex that it would take a normal laptop 2,000 years to run it, and it is believed to be the most accurate simulation of universe formation ever created, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Previous simulations have resulted in universes that don't bear more than a passing resemblance to our own, but Illustris researchers say the inclusion of mysterious "dark matter" resulted in a more accurate universe—and helped confirm some current theories in cosmology. "Many of the simulated galaxies agree very well with the galaxies in the real universe. It tells us that the basic understanding of how the universe works must be correct and complete," the lead researcher tells the BBC. "If you don't include dark matter, it will not look like the real universe." (Read more universe stories.)