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The Dark Universe at your Fingertips!

Being inside the Illustris Data - Photo taken with Lume

London, 2nd July 2019

Working with the Mullard Space Science Lab and members of the European Space Agency's Euclid Mission, Dr. Tom Kitching, Anurag Deshpande Phd, Dr. Peter Taylor and Dr. Ananth Tenneti, we have been working on transforming the Illustris Simulation Data of the formation of Dark Matter in our universe into an environment easily digestible for everyone. This work is being unveiled today at the very prestigious Royal Society Summer Exhibition. Everyone is welcome!

During the presentation and demonstration, the audience will learn about Euclid, a space telescope being launched in 2022 and how researchers will be able to map dark matter and better understand the nature of dark energy by observing over 3 billion galaxies.

This is also an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the crucial role that Lume plays in helping scientists to visualise and interpret the massive amounts of data collected by missions such as Euclid.

Left is an XYZ plot of a frame of the entire Illustris Dataset and Right we have replaced Z by potential revealing the spacetime distortion of dense regions/objects

The power of immersion is two fold, both in the exploration of the data but also at the communication of the insights. The complexity of the information that can be conveyed is dramatically higher and faster than using traditional 2D methods whilst simultaneously making the data engaging and digestible for all.

We all hope to see you there!

For those of you who will not be able to make it here is a Cheat Sheet put together by Anurag Deshpande and Dr. Peter Taylor:


  • Facts:

Euclid is a European Space Agency Space telescope planned for launch in 2022. It will look at approximately a third of the sky, and will observe roughly 3 billion galaxies over 10 billion years of the Universe’s history.

  • Science Goals:

The objective is to investigate the properties of the dark energy by accurately measuring both the acceleration as well as the variation of the acceleration at different ages of the Universe. Doing this we can test the validity of general relativity on cosmic scales and investigate the nature and properties of dark matter by mapping the 3-dimensional dark matter distribution in the Universe. The next step is to refine the initial conditions at the beginning of our Universe, which seed the formation of the cosmic structures we see today. We will do this by measuring Weak Lensing.

Weak Lensing:

Einstein’s theory of general relativity tells us that light, like all other matter, is subject to the force of gravity. So, when light from distant galaxies travels to us, it is bent slightly by the gravitational force of all the stuff in between us and the galaxy. The observed shape of the galaxy is then different than its actual shape. The deflection depends on the kinds of stuff that was in between, and how that stuff was distributed. Measuring this effect for lots of galaxies across the sky tells us about the large-scale structure of the Universe. We then compare these to simulations that we have generated to find out the fundamental properties of the Universe.

Dark Matter:

Dark matter is "stuff" that doesn’t interact with light, so we can’t see it however, it does have gravitational force, and we see that objects around a clump of dark matter experience this gravity. This is how we know it is there.

Dark Energy:

This is the mysterious energy that is thought to be causing the expansion of the Universe to accelerate. Very little is known about Dark Energy.

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