The Formation of Population III Binaries from Cosmological Initial Conditions.
Simulation by Matthew Turk, Tom Abel, and Brian O'Shea. Image by Ralf Kaehler.
Still from a simulation depicting an early stage of a gamma-ray burst. Collaborators: Stan Woosley (UCSC) and Weiqun Zhang (Stanford University).
"Simulated Observations" generated using the Sunrise code.
Image credit: Chris Moody
BigBolshoi Cosmological Simulation. Image Credit: Stefan Gottloeber (AIP)
Simulated Observations generated using the Sunrise code. Image Credit: Patrik Jonsson (Harvard/CfA)
The purpose of the University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HiPACC) is to realize the full potential of the University of California world class resources in computational astronomy. Read the letter from the Director
September 2014 AstroShort—Separated at Birth: Finding our Sun’s Long-Lost Siblings?

Any stars born of the same giant molecular cloud always show the same “DNA fingerprint” of chemical abundances of trace elements. But most groups of stars drift apart, eventually even ending up on opposite sides of a galaxy—as likely happened with our Sun. Thus, astronomers have long wondered whether it might be possible to tell if two stars now on opposite sides of the galaxy were born billions of years ago from the same cloud. New simulations explain why, and offer hope: might it be possible to find our own Sun’s long-lost siblings?

Read the AstroShort Separated at Birth: Finding our Sun’s Long-Lost Siblings?


posted: 2014-09-19 10:41:47
Did you know…?

This UC-HiPACC website is a central news source about all computational science at all 10 UC campuses and three affiliated DOE national laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos). Check out our three press rooms. For the latest in astrophysics, see Computational Astronomy Press Room. For news re K-20 students and the public, see Education/Public Outreach Press Room. Just posted: the latest about all other fields of Data Science. (psst! want $50,000? design a climate big-data app!). Updates highlighted on Facebook and Twitter.


posted: 2014-09-16 11:22:41
Why Sibling Stars Look Alike: Early, Fast Mixing in Star Birth Clouds

August 31, 2014 — Early, fast, turbulent mixing of gas within giant molecular clouds—the birthplaces of stars—means all stars formed from a single cloud bear the same unique chemical “tag” or “DNA fingerprint,” writes computational astronomers at University of California, Santa Cruz in the journal Nature, published online on August 31, 2014. Could such chemical tags help astronomers identify our own Sun’s long-lost sibling stars? Read the UC-HiPACC press release at http://hipacc.ucsc.edu/PressRelease/sibling-stars.html and watch the movies!

Two 11-second movies shows a computational simulation of a collision of two converging streams of interstellar gas, leading to collapse and formation of a star cluster at the center.

Two 11-second movies shows a computational simulation of a collision of two converging streams of interstellar gas, leading to collapse and formation of a star cluster at the center.

posted: 2014-08-31 10:17:43
August 2014 AstroShort: ’Smoking Gun’ for Stellar Explosion Mystery

Whodunit? A brilliant flash of ultraviolet light from supernova SN 2013cu in a galaxy 360 million light-years away in the constellation Boötes solved an enduring mystery about the origins of massive exploding stars called Type IIb core-collapse supernovae. Thanks to the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) pipeline, the perp of Type IIb supernovae has been identified as Wolf-Rayet. “This is the smoking gun!” exulted Peter Nugent, head of the Computational Cosmology Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Read the AstroShort ’Smoking Gun’ for Stellar Explosion Mystery.

While observing a galaxy known as UGC 9379 (left; image from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) about 360 million light-years from Earth, the iPTF team used a 1.2-meter robotic telescope at Palomar Observatory to discover a new supernova, SN 2013cu (right, marked with an arrow; image from a 1.5-meter robotic telescope, also at Palomar).

posted: 2014-08-25 14:33:29
July 2014 AstroShort: Magnetically Levitating Black Holes

Loud and twisted: some supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies have twisted magnetic fields so powerful they counteract the colossal pull of their gravity—allowing clouds of accreting gas or other objects literally to levitate temporarily in place above the black hole instead of plunging into the maw. That’s the conclusion of one UC Berkeley researcher and three coauthors after comparing their computational model to empirical measurements of not just one or two, but of 76 supermassive black holes in loud radio galaxies and blazars. The new findings may mean that theorists must re-evaluate their understanding of how supermassive black holes behave. Read the AstroShort “Magnetically Levitating Black Holes.”

A computer simulation shows gas (yellow) falling in the direction of a central black hole (too small to be seen). Twin jets (blue), strongly focused by spiral magnetic field lines, shoot out towards the top and bottom, perpendicular to the plane of the rotating accretion disk. Credit: Alexander Tchekhovskoy/LBNL

posted: 2014-08-04 11:12:40
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  • In the June, 2014, Sky & Telescope, Sandra M. Faber, Henry C. Ferguson, David C. Koo, Joel R. Primack, and Trudy E. Bell explain how Hubble’s single largest observing program is detecting the earliest galaxies, finding the most distant supernovae, and revealing the fireworks-like peak of star formation at cosmic high noon.

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  • A Spanish-language article "The Universe as a 3D Movie" profiles the work of HiPACC director Joel Primack and his philosopher wife Nancy Ellen Abrams, who has co-authored two books with him. It was published in the May 2013 issue of Muy Interesant (Madrid), the largest-circulation Spanish-language magazine.

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