We’re probably not living in a computer simulation, despite some people’s insistence to the contrary.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t create our own awe-inspiring simulations of the universe.
Physicists from across the world have released an advanced new universe-scale simulation called IllustrisTNG, perhaps the most sophisticated of its kind.
It’s unlikely you’re in the camp of people who will actually use it, but all of us are definitely in the camp of people who think that its outputs look amazing.
IllustrisTNG allows researchers to recreate the formation and evolution of galaxies over time, or model the largest-scale structures like magnetic fields, or see how dark matter and heavier elements are distributed throughout the universe.
It’s important to note that simulations are not perfect recreations of the real universe, and all of them contain drawbacks.