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Neutron Stars In The Computer Cloud: Einstein@Home Discovers 24 New Pulsars In Archival Data

August 29, 2013 Leave a comment

The combined computing power of 200,000 private PCs helps astronomers take an inventory of the Milky Way. The Einstein@Home project connects home and office PCs of volunteers from around the world to a global supercomputer. Using this computer cloud, an international team lead by scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Gravitational Physics and for Radio Astronomy analysed archival data from the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope in Australia. Using new search methods, the global computer network discovered 24 pulsars – extraordinary stellar remnants with extreme physical properties. These can be used as testbeds for Einstein’s general theory of relativity and could help to complete our picture of the pulsar population.

“We could only conduct our search thanks to the enormous computing power provided by the Einstein@Home volunteers,” says Benjamin Knispel, researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) in Hannover, and lead author of the study now published in The Astrophysical Journal. “Through the participation of the public, we discovered 24 new pulsars in our Milky Way, which had previously been missed – and some of them are particularly interesting.”

Full Story: http://www.aei.mpg.de/480062/Einstein_Home_24PSRs_PMPS
Einstein@Home Home Page: http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu

NASA Supercomputer Enables Largest Cosmological Simulations

October 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Scientists have generated the largest and most realistic cosmological simulations of the evolving universe to-date, thanks to NASA¹s powerful Pleiades supercomputer. Using the “Bolshoi” simulation code, researchers hope to explain how galaxies and other very large structures in the universe changed since the Big Bang.

To complete the enormous Bolshoi simulation, which traces how largest galaxies and galaxy structures in the universe were formed billions of years ago, astrophysicists at New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico and the University of California High-Performance Astrocomputing Center (UC-HIPACC), Santa Cruz, Calif. ran their code on Pleiades for 18 days, consumed millions of hours of computer time, and generating enormous amounts of data. Pleiades is the seventh most powerful supercomputer in the world.

Full Story: http://www.astronews.us/2011-09-30-1309.html

First Simulation to Create a Milky Way-like Galaxy

August 30, 2011 1 comment

Credit: J. Guedes and P. Madau.

After nine months of number-crunching on a powerful supercomputer, a beautiful spiral galaxy matching our own Milky Way emerged from a computer simulation of the physics involved in galaxy formation and evolution. The simulation by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Zurich solves a longstanding problem that had led some to question the prevailing cosmological model of the universe.

“Previous efforts to form a massive disk galaxy like the Milky Way had failed, because the simulated galaxies ended up with huge central bulges compared to the size of the disk,” said Javiera Guedes, who recently earned her Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and is first author of a paper on the new simulation, called “Eris.” The paper has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

Full Story: http://news.ucsc.edu/2011/08/eris-simulation.html