Here’s How It Looked When Our Galaxy Was Born

Sep 12, 2016 at 6:10 PM ET

It took 2,000 computers over 700,000 hours to put this together, and, in our humble opinion, it’s worth it: the most realistic simulation of the birth of the Milky Way to date.

Caltech astronomers posited through this simulation that our 13.8 billion-year-old galaxy didn’t form in the presence of thousands of other dwarf galaxies. In fact, there are only about 30 little wee galaxies nearby, which explains why it’s been so tough for us to find them.