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Evolution of structure in a void
see also this web page

Despite what their name implies, voids are not entirely empty. Although the void regions do not contain large structures and massive galaxies, they contain plenty of smaller-scale structure. This structure looks very much like a scaled-down version of the large-scale web of filaments. The movie illustrates the formation of this web in the Cold Dark Matter model with dark energy. The frames show the evolution of structures in a box of about 30 million parsecs. A spherical void is identified in the simulation at the present-day epoch. The dark matter particles in this region are then traced back in time to their initial positions. The movie follows evolution of these particles over the entire history of the universe. Note that because the density in the void is smaller than the average density in the universe, the void is expanding rather than collapsing. The structures appear to be flying away from each other on large scales. On small scales, gravitational instability is still at work and leads to the formation of interconnected web of filaments. At the final epoch the void is rotated to highlight the three-dimensional geometry of the web.

Questions and comments: Andrey Kravtsov (andrey@oddjob.uchicago.edu)

You can use this material if you include the proper credit:
simulations and visualizations were performed at the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum
by Stefan Gottloeber (Astrophysical Institute Potsdam)