Faking It

What’s this picture?

The easy answer is that it’s a computer-generated image from the Millennium Simulation of what we think the universe looks like on the largest scales. That’s not quite true, though. It’s certainly an image from the Millennium Simulation, but it’s not what we think the universe “looks” like, at least not literally; those luminous dots indicate dark matter, not galaxies, meaning they’re not made of anything that actually gives off light of any kind. More importantly, it’s not what we think our universe looks like because it’s not a map of our universe. It’s a map of a fake universe, a wholly simulated construction living inside a computer…

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