Scientists have created the largest-ever virtual universe that simulates the formation galaxies and may hold clues to the nature of the elusive dark matter that is believed to make up majority of the cosmos.

The gigantic catalogue of about 25 billion virtual galaxies generated from 2 trillion digital particles using a super computer is being used to calibrate the experiments on board the Euclid satellite, that will be launched in 2020.

The satellite will investigate the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

The computer code called PKDGRAV3 took three years to complete was executed on the world-leading machine for only 80 hours, and generated a virtual universe of two trillion macro-particles representing the dark matter fluid, from which a catalogue of 25 billion virtual galaxies was extracted, researchers said.

Due to the high precision of their calculation, featuring a dark matter fluid evolving under its own gravity, researchers simulated the formation of small concentration of matter, called dark matter halos in which they believe galaxies like the Milky Way form.

About 95 per cent of the universe is dark. The cosmos consists of 23 per cent of dark matter and 72 per cent of dark energy, researchers said.