Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

June 30, 1998

The Universe Evolves
Credit: A. Kudlicki (CAMK) & G. Evrard (Michigan) et al., The Virgo Consortium

Explanation: Scroll right and watch the universe evolve. Above is a computer simulation depicting the evolution of our entire universe. On the far left is a slice of the universe soon after the Big Bang - over 10 billion years ago. As time progresses toward the right, the initially smooth universe can be seen becoming more and more clumpy. The vertex near the far right marks the present day. The largest slice of the universe actually surveyed is simulated to the vertex's right. This artificial universe, called a Hubble Volume, was designed to mimic what humanity might see were we to have powerful enough telescopes. By comparing different computer simulations to reality, we might be able to better tell what kind of universe we live in.

向右捲動,就可以看到宇宙的演化過程。 這幅電腦模擬圖,呈現我們的宇宙如何演化。 圖左緣所見的,是100多億年前大爆炸剛發生後,宇宙的一個小切片。 隨著時間推移,可見到一開始是均勻平滑的宇宙,漸漸的變得愈來愈不均勻並聚集成塊。 靠近右緣附近的尖頂是我們所在的現在。 尖頂右方的大切片,是針我們現在所見的宇宙所做的模擬。 這個稱為哈伯空間的虛構宇宙,是用來模仿當人類有夠大的望遠鏡時所看到的宇宙。 比較電腦模擬與真實宇宙的異同之處,或許能讓我們分辨我們是住在那一種宇宙之中。

Tomorrow's picture: A Starburst Galaxy

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