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Watch this: NASA simulates 13.5 billion years of a galaxy's evolution in two-minute video

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NASA galaxy simulation
NASA galaxy simulation

To simulate 13.5 billion years in the life of a single disk galaxy, NASA needed more than your average desktop PC. The memorable video below is the direct work of the agency's Pleiades supercomputer and, by NASA's estimates, approximately 1 million CPU hours. The resulting 2:17 clip is nothing short of captivating, beginning shortly after the Big Bang and running through present day. It wouldn't be a disk galaxy without an abundance of stars, and each of the colors in the simulation represents something different: red depicts older stars while white and bright blue correspond to new ones — the paler blue shade accounts for distribution of gas density.