The Bolshoi simulation clock started about 24 million years after the Big Bang, based on a highly accurate calculation of the evolution of the universe to that time. The Bolshoi simulation then followed the evolution of 8.6 billion particles, each particle representing an amount of dark matter with a mass about 200 million times the mass of the sun (about 1/5000th [??] the mass of the Milky Way dark matter halo). 180 times during the simulated evolution of the universe, the resulting picture of all the dark matter particles and their motions was captured and stored like a frame in a monumental three-dimensional movie. These stored time steps will allow astrophysicists to explore the three-dimensional model of the universe and study how dark matter halos, their galaxies, and clusters of galaxies coalesced and evolved....
Bolshoi is the most accurate and highest-resolution large cosmological simulation run to date. Its results—including merger trees (basically the family trees) of dark matter halos and galaxies—will be made available this fall and winter to the world’s astronomers in a series of phased releases.
All available data suggest that dark energy is a cosmological constant, a possibility first proposed by Albert Einstein, who called it by the Greek capital letter lambda [Λ]. That is what the Bolshoi simulations assume.
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