Friday, September 30, 2011
This is part of a much larger simulation that suggests the evolution of the Universe is understood pretty well at this point. I have doubts about it, but it is sure looks pretty.
"The standard explanation for how the universe evolved after the Big Bang is known as the Lambda Cold Dark Matter model, and it is the theoretical basis for the Bolshoi simulation. According to this model, gravity acted initially on slight density fluctuations present shortly after the Big Bang to pull together the first clumps of dark matter. These grew into larger and larger clumps through the hierarchical merging of smaller progenitors. Although the nature of dark matter remains a mystery, it accounts for about 82 percent of the matter in the universe. As a result, the evolution of structure in the universe has been driven by the gravitational interactions of dark matter. The ordinary matter that forms stars and planets has fallen into the “gravitational wells” created by clumps of dark matter, giving rise to galaxies in the centers of dark matter halos."
I personally would wait until we get some deep-space surveys under our belt, and then decide how well we know the structure of the observable Universe. LSST may help with this, I predict. Also the JWST, if it ever gets to space.
The Universe Today