header photo

Big Bang #2

As you may already know we have been busy rebuilding the client using the Unity Game Engine, but we have also been making some major changes with the server side to. In the original simulation we had 360 million star systems spread over one 3,000 light year long arm of the Milky Way. Well we have rewritten that section (and changed the story line to match). Now the worm-hole that you start the game from deposits you some 12 million light years from earth in the Galaxy M-81. We have modeled the entire M-81 galaxy  for you to explore. This galaxy is approximately 95,000 light years in diameter and 30,000 light years thick. This picture from the Hubble Telescope shows the relative density of each section of it.

Although this galaxy is about the same size as the Milky Way it only has about 1 quarter the number of star systems, in this case 100 billion of them. Yes, that is right, the simulator now has over 100 billion star systems for you to explore. Given that approximately 50% are binary systems and some are trinary or higher, the number of visitable stars is closer to 200 billion.

Why would we go to such ridiculous lengths as modelling an entire galaxy? Well, for one this project is about trying to educate people on the vastness of space. What better way than showing them a simulation of an entire galaxy. It is a pretty staggering number. Secondly with the open GUI we want to encourage computer science students and enthusiasts to re-write our front end and come up with some creative solutions. One of the issues facing modern programmers is manipulation and presentation of very large data sets - I think we can agree that our star catalog qualifies as a large data set. And thirdly we wondered if we really could do it - and sometimes that's all the reason you need. 

Maybe one of you will unleash a Von Neumann Probe on your galaxy - we are certainly designing the server to support such activities.

Go Back