The Illustris project is an ongoing series of astrophysical simulations run by an international collaboration of scientists. The aim is to study the processes of galaxy formation and evolution in the universe with a comprehensive physical model. Early results are described in a number of publications following widespread press coverage. The project plans to publicly release the data from the simulation in 2015.
The simulation includes many physical processes which are thought to be critical for galaxy formation. These include the formation of stars and the subsequent "feedback" due to supernova explosions, as well as the formation of super-massive black holes, their consumption of nearby gas, and their multiple modes of energetic feedback.
A code called "Arepo" was used to run the Illustris simulations. It was written by Volker Springel, the same author as the GADGET code. The name is derived from the Sator Square. This code solves the coupled equations of gravity and hydrodynamics using a discretization of space based on a moving Voronoi tessellation. It is optimized for running on large, distributed memory supercomputers using a MPI approach.
^ abVogelsberger, Mark; Genel, Shy; Springel, Volker; Torrey, Paul; Sijacki, Debora; Xu, Dandan; Snyder, Greg; Nelson, Dylan; Hernquist, Lars (14 May 2014). "Introducing the Illustris Project: Simulating the coevolution of dark and visible matter in the Universe". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society444: 1518. arXiv:1405.2921. Bibcode:2014MNRAS.444.1518V. doi:10.1093/mnras/stu1536.
^Genel, Shy; Vogelsberger, Mark; Springel, Volker; Sijacki, Debora; Nelson, Dylan; Snyder, Greg; Rodriguez-Gomez, Vicente; Torrey, Paul; Hernquist, Lars (15 May 2014). "The Illustris Simulation: the evolution of galaxy populations across cosmic time". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society445: 175. arXiv:1405.3749. Bibcode:2014MNRAS.445..175G. doi:10.1093/mnras/stu1654.