TECH

Simulation Flying Through The Known Universe Is Really Cool But Will Make You Feel Really Small

13/03/2014 11:22 GMT | Updated 13/03/2014 11:59 GMT

In Star Trek the Enterprise shooting off at warp speed looked amazing - but obviously kind of fake.

Surely the vast number of galaxies out there require some kind of chicane-style manoeuvring to avoid a head-on collision worth something rather hot/hard/exploding.

A new computer simulation gives is a little insight into what it would actually be like.

Using the Galaxy and Mass Assembly catalogue, this video shows a journey through the known universe with all of the galaxies plotted accurately (although increased slightly in size so they can be viewed).

Mehmet Alpaslan, a Ph.D. candidate at St Andrews University, Scotland who led the research, said: "The spaces in the cosmic web are thought to be staggeringly empty.

"They might contain just one or two galaxies, as opposed to the hundreds that are found in big clusters."

The research is indicating that rather than empty voids in the vast expanses of space between galaxies, there may actually be 'tendrils' that link them together.

Alpaslan said: "We found small strings composed of just a few galaxies penetrating into the voids, a completely new type of structure that we’ve called ‘tendrils'."

Dr Aaron Robotham from The University of Western Australia, added: "We weren’t sure what we’d find when we looked at voids in detail, but it was amazing to find so many of these tendrils lurking in regions that have previously been classified as empty.

"This means that voids might be much smaller than we previously thought, and that galaxies that were previously thought to be in a void might just be part of a tendril."

Video credit: Credit: Made by Will Parr, Dr. Mark Swinbank and Dr. Peder Norberg (Durham University) using data from the SDSS and the GAMA surveys. This work was supported by the Ogden Trust, STFC and the Royal Society.