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Primeur weekly 2011-08-29

The Cloud

HP extends Converged Storage leadership with new storage federation technology ...

IBM launches smarter energy Cloud in Iowa ...

IBM unveils new hybrid Cloud solution for the enterprise ...

Shriram Transport chooses IBM to collaborate in the Cloud ...

Storing vertebrates in the Cloud ...

Desktop Grids

BoincTasks version 1.16 released ...

EuroFlash

EU funded research helps astronomers see the bigger picture ...

Open Technologies partners with Bright Computing to serve the Russian HPC market ...

First glimpse into birth of the Milky Way ...

USFlash

California Department of Water Resources selects HP to save energy and lower costs ...

PrimeLending banks on HP to secure vital assets ...

Oracle unveils Oracle VM 3.0 ...

Oracle announces Oracle VM Storage Connect plug-ins for Oracle VM 3.0 ...

Better 'photon loops' may be key to computer and physics advances ...

Swift Engineering selects Platform HPC to build faster and better race cars, unmanned aerial vehicles and planes ...

IBM demonstrates increased server market momentum in second quarter ...

New flood prediction technology simulates rivers 100x faster than real time ...

Latest release of Oracle Application Express delivers new and refined capabilities ...

Samsung Securities picks big data analytics from SAS and Platform Computing to manage risk ...

Dartmouth Med School lands $11 million grant for regional biomedical research centre ...

Tohoku University selects SGI to advance fluid science research ...

IBM Almaden researchers to develop GPFS to scan 10 billion files in 43 minutes ...

NVIDIA Tesla GPUs now easier than ever to deploy with new GPU Starter Kit from HP ...

New depiction of light could boost telecommunications channels ...

Mellanox introduces world's highest-density 64-port L2/L3 10GbE switch ...

Mellanox introduces ConnectX-3 10/40GbE adapters with multiple physical functions for VMware ESXi 5.0 ...

Mellanox ConnectX-2 10GbE adapters achieve VMware Ready status ...

First glimpse into birth of the Milky Way

25 Aug 2011 Zurich - For almost 20 years astrophysicists have been trying to recreate the formation of spiral galaxies such as our Milky Way realistically. Now astrophysicists from the University of Zurich present the world's first realistic simulation of the formation of our home galaxy together with astronomers from the University of California at Santa Cruz. The new results were partly calculated on the computer of the Swiss National Supercomputing Center (CSCS) and show, for instance, that there has to be stars on the outer edge of the Milky Way.

The aim of astrophysical simulations is to model reality in due consideration of the physical laws and processes. Astronomical sky observations and astrophysical simulations have to match up exactly. Being able to simulate a complex system like the formation of the Milky Way realistically is the ultimate proof that the underlying theories of astrophysics are correct. All previous attempts to recreate the formation of spiral galaxies like the Milky Way faltered on one of two points: Either the simulated spiral galaxies displayed too many stars at the centre or the overall stellar mass was several times too big.

A research group jointly run by Lucio Mayer, an astrophysicist at the University of Zurich, and Piero Madau, an astronomer at University of California at Santa Cruz, is now publishing the first realistic simulation of the formation of the Milky Way in theAstrophysical Journal. Javiera Guedes and Simone Callegari, who are PhD students at Santa Cruz and the University of Zurich respectively, performed the simulation and analyzed the data. Javiera Guedes will be working on the formation of galaxies as a postdoc in Zurich from the fall.

For their study, the scientists developed a highly complex simulation in which a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way develops by itself without further intervention. Named after Eris, the Greek goddess of strife and discord, because of the decades of debate surrounding the formation of spiral galaxies, the simulation offers a glimpse in time lapse into almost the entire genesis of a spiral galaxy. Its origins date back to less than a million years after the Big Bang. "Our result shows that a realistic spiral galaxy can be formed based on the basic principles of the cold dark matter paradigm and the physical laws of gravity, fluid dynamics and radiophysics", explained Lucio Mayer.

The simulation also shows that in an entity that is supposed to develop into a spiral galaxy, the stars in the areas with giant cloud gas complexes have to form. In these cold molecular giant clouds, the gases exhibit extremely high densities. The star formation and distribution there does not occur uniformly, but rather in clumps and clusters. This in turn results in a considerably greater build-up of heat through local supernova explosions. Through this massive build-up of heat, visible standard matter is removed at high redshift. This prevents the formation of a concave disk in the center of the galaxy. The removal of baryonic matter, as the visible standard matter is also known, also reduces the overall mass of the gas present at the center. This results in the formation of the correct stellar mass, as can be observed in the Milky Way. At the end of the simulation, a thin, curved disk results that corresponds fully to the astronomical observations of the Milky Way in terms of the mass, angular momentum and rotation velocity ratios.

For the calculations, the model Lucio Mayer and co. developed for the simulation of disk-shaped dwarf galaxies and published in the journalNaturein 2010 was refined. The high-resolution model simulates the formation of a galaxy with 790 billion solar masses and comprises 18.6 million particles, from which gases, dark matter and stars form. The high resolution of the numerical simulations is essential for the groundbreaking new results. For the calculations, the high-performance supercomputers Cray XT5 "Monte Rosa" at ETH Zurich's Swiss National Supercomputing Center (CSCS) and the NASA Advanced Supercomputer Division's Pleiades were used. A regular PC would have needed 570 years for the calculations.

The new simulation confirms the results for the formation of disk-shaped dwarf galaxies published by Lucio Mayer and demonstrates that the model - unlike all previous approaches - can recreate both small and extremely large galaxies realistically. Moreover, from the simulation it an also be deduced that protogalaxies with a large disk made of gases and stars at the center already formed a billion years after the Big Bang, and therefore long before our present galaxies.

Based on the simulation, the ratio of "cold dark matter" (CDM) and standard matter in spiral galaxies can also be adjusted. In order to obtain the correct overall stellar mass in the final stage of the galaxy - until now, one of the main difficulties - it is imperative that standard matter be removed from the centre by supernova winds. On the strength of the simulation, it is highly probable that the ratio of standard matter to CDM on the outermost edge of the CDM rings of a spiral galaxy is 1:9, not 1:6 as previously assumed.

The simulation also predicts stars and gases for the outer halo of the Milky Way six hundred thousand light years away. Only the next generation of space probes and telescopes will be able to detect these extremely faint stars. Furthermore, the simulation makes predictions with regard to the radial distribution of hot gases around the galaxy's central disk. Future telescopes that can measure X-rays, as the IXO Mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) is planning, for example, will test these predictions.
Source: University of Zurich

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2011-08-29

The Cloud

HP extends Converged Storage leadership with new storage federation technology ...

IBM launches smarter energy Cloud in Iowa ...

IBM unveils new hybrid Cloud solution for the enterprise ...

Shriram Transport chooses IBM to collaborate in the Cloud ...

Storing vertebrates in the Cloud ...

Desktop Grids

BoincTasks version 1.16 released ...

EuroFlash

EU funded research helps astronomers see the bigger picture ...

Open Technologies partners with Bright Computing to serve the Russian HPC market ...

First glimpse into birth of the Milky Way ...

USFlash

California Department of Water Resources selects HP to save energy and lower costs ...

PrimeLending banks on HP to secure vital assets ...

Oracle unveils Oracle VM 3.0 ...

Oracle announces Oracle VM Storage Connect plug-ins for Oracle VM 3.0 ...

Better 'photon loops' may be key to computer and physics advances ...

Swift Engineering selects Platform HPC to build faster and better race cars, unmanned aerial vehicles and planes ...

IBM demonstrates increased server market momentum in second quarter ...

New flood prediction technology simulates rivers 100x faster than real time ...

Latest release of Oracle Application Express delivers new and refined capabilities ...

Samsung Securities picks big data analytics from SAS and Platform Computing to manage risk ...

Dartmouth Med School lands $11 million grant for regional biomedical research centre ...

Tohoku University selects SGI to advance fluid science research ...

IBM Almaden researchers to develop GPFS to scan 10 billion files in 43 minutes ...

NVIDIA Tesla GPUs now easier than ever to deploy with new GPU Starter Kit from HP ...

New depiction of light could boost telecommunications channels ...

Mellanox introduces world's highest-density 64-port L2/L3 10GbE switch ...

Mellanox introduces ConnectX-3 10/40GbE adapters with multiple physical functions for VMware ESXi 5.0 ...

Mellanox ConnectX-2 10GbE adapters achieve VMware Ready status ...