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The 13 billion-year evolution of the universe, crammed into a four-minute video

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Now you've got the basics of the universe down, try a dreamy tour through 13 billion years of stars and the space between them all. That's what Nature's offering, courtesy of MIT and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Prior attempts to scale and visualize everything ever were apparently hampered by a lack of computing processing power and the outright trickiness of the physics involved. The Illustris Project eventually took five years to craft and is apparently made of 10 billion minute cubes inside a virtual box measuring some 350 x 350 million light-years. It's not the first history of everything simulation, but it's the fanciest looking one -- watch the whole thing after the break. Astronomer Michael Boylan-Kolchin adds, in a commentary of the study: "If this all sounds somewhat complicated, do not be fooled: It is extremely complicated."

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