A supercomputer reveals the active remnants of a spectacular supernova

A supercomputer reveals the active remnants of a spectacular supernova

The Cetonix supercomputer celebrated its entry into service by releasing a stunning image of a supernova remnant.

Australian astronomers have a lot to be happy about right now; Country of Kangaroos has acquired the services of Cetonics, which is waiting to disaggregate data on an industrial scale. Within 24 hours of its activation, astronomers had already used it to create a breathtaking image of a supernova remnant.

The data in question comes fromASKAP. It is a somewhat specialized observatory because it is not an isolated instrument like the Event Horizon Telescope; Instead, the signals are collected using a set 36 radio antennas Spread over an area of ​​about one square kilometer.

This architecture enables identification of particularly weak signals. Individually, they do not carry much weight in terms of scientific research. But they all work on a slightly different wavelength; By processing all these components in parallel, it is possible Combine pieces of information Every statement to get is there Composite images. Professionals can use them in their work.

A supercomputer dedicated entirely to astronomy

The problem is that ASKAP and its equivalents create a separate database. It is too large to be processed in a reasonable amount of time by a standard classical computer; To create composite images of interest to researchers, it is necessary to equip themselves with real computer monsters. That’s where ketonics comes in.

Since its construction in 2009, ASKAP has been connected to a neighboring research center (Pawsi Supercomputing Research Center or PSRC) through special optical fibers. Resident researchers collect data from the telescope and use it as quickly as possible. The arrival of Chetonics in this company is already changing the game at this level.

On paper, this is a relatively modest supercomputer; That puts it “only” 50 petaflops against the current defending champion, the 1102 Frontier (see our Article) but the fact that it is directly linked to ASKAP and designed specifically to use its data still makes it a hot tool for astronomers.

In absolute terms, Cetonics are much less powerful than monsters like Frontier; But this has the advantage that ACAPS is better optimized for processing signals captured by telescopes. © Oak Ridge National Laboratory – YouTube screenshot

The craft is emerging from its first phase of deployment. So its operators wanted to test the capabilities of their new toy. The researchers behind the work used data from a fascinating supernova remnant called G261.9+5.5. The goal: to create a usable picture of the phenomenon from an incredibly dense dataset.

An amazing supernova remnant

Supernovae are massive explosions that occur at the end of a star’s life cycle, when the latter has reached the end of its reserves to fuel thermonuclear reactions. These apocalyptic events usually leave behind a large cloud of superheated, very bright and therefore easily detected matter; We talk about remanent later. These remnants are of great interest to astronomers. They are usually packed with important information about the life cycle of stars – and by extension the dynamics of the universe as a whole.

If so, this image of G261.9+5.5 might just bring it up No revolutionary invention; hasAfter all, this substance has already been constantly studied by experts since its discovery in 1967. On the other hand, this experiment has made it possible. Cetonix demonstrates the ability to ingest and digest an amazing amount of data. And coincidentally, the swirls of superheated gas created by this cosmic cataclysm are also one A spectacular sight for space lovers.

The other good news is that this exciting image of G261.9+5.5 (see top of article) The first of a long series. Now that the machine’s capabilities have been verified, PSRC teams can soon complete the second phase of its deployment; A timeframe that further increases its processing capacity. Expect Australian astronomers to continue to provide us with breathtaking images, as the James Webb Space Telescope has been doing since July 12 (see our Article)

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