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
Applications for the 2014 UC-HiPACC International Summer School
on AstroComputing, ISSAC2014, are now open.

The summer school will be on nuclear astrophysics, supernovas, and neutrinos, and will be held July 21–August 1 at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, UCSD. George Fuller (UCSD) will be the director, and the lecturers will include Baha Balantekin (Wisc), Joseph Carlson (LANL), Huaiyu Duan (UNM), Alex Friedland (LANL), Dan Kasen (UCB/LBL), Evan Kirby (UCI), Tony Mezzacappa (ORNL), and Yong-Zhong Qian (UMN).

April 2014 AstroShort: Not-So-Rare Earths


If the stars observed by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft are statistically representative of those in our own solar neighborhood of the Milky Way galaxy, then “Earth-size planets are common around nearby Sun-like stars,” conclude Erik A. Petigura and Geoffrey W. Marcy from the University of California, Berkeley and Andrew W. Howard from the University of Hawaii. They were led to that conclusion by a monumental statistical analysis of Kepler data completed with the help of the Carver supercomputer at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Read AstroShort

Field of view of the Kepler space telescope, located in the constellation Cygnus, just above the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy. Credit: NASA


posted: 2014-04-16 17:35:45
March 2014 AstroShort: Discovered: Stellar Dinosaurs!


Arrow points to supernova SNLS 06D4eu and its host galaxy, both about 10 billion light-years away. Big objects with spikes are stars in our own Milky Way; every other bright dot is a distant galaxy. Credit: University of California, Santa Barbara

“We had no idea what these things were,” recounted D. Andrew Howell, staff scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network and adjunct assistant professor at UC Santa Barbara. Two objects caught by the detectors of the Supernova Legacy Survey looked like supernovae—stars exploding in cataclysmic stellar suicide—but did not act like familiar supernovae. The finding launched Howell along with Daniel Kasen, computational astrophysicist at UC Berkeley, and 16 colleagues into detective sleuthing that led to the discovery of … Read AstroShort


posted: 2014-03-05 11:14:05
January 2014 AstroShort: A Black Hole is Born


Astrophysicists had unusual ringside seats to the birth of a black hole in an inconspicuous galaxy relatively nearby, watching across all wavelengths from initial gamma ray burst and optical flash through fading afterglow. Read AstroShort

Los Alamos National Laboratory astrophysicist Tom Vestrand poses with the fast-slew array of telescopes for RAPTOR (RAPid Telescopes for Optical Response) system. RAPTOR is an intelligent visual system that scans the skies for optical anomalies and zeroes in on them when it detects them. This unique capability allowed astronomers to witness the birth of a black hole in the constellation Leo.

posted: 2014-02-01 00:32:36
December 2013 AstroShort: AGORA — Seeing the Invisible Elephant


Why should astrophysicists believe computational simulations about the origins of the universe and evolution of galaxies? After all, results from different codes differ. Now, a major international effort Project AGORA is systematically comparing major computational codes to tease out the real astrophysics…. Read AstroShort

Differences in supercomputer simulations to be compared in the AGORA project are clearly evident in this test galaxy produced by each of nine different versions of participating codes using the same astrophysics and starting with the same initial conditions.


posted: 2014-01-22 13:29:17
November 2013 AstroShort: HAWC-Eye on the Sky


A telescope made of water—HAWC, high in Mexico’s mountains—has begun monitoring the heavens to capture the Universe’s most violent events. Read AstroShort

Array of 115 water tanks of the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Observatory as it appeared on September 13, 2013. When completed in early 2014, it will have 300 tanks. HAWC is at an altitude of 4,100 meters on the flanks of the Sierra Negra volcano near Puebla, Mexico. It is an international collaboration of over 20 institutions in the U.S. and Mexico. In the background is Pico d’Orizaba, a dormant volcano with an elevation of 5,635 meters (the highest peak in North America outside of Alaska). Credit: Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

posted: 2013-11-03 18:35:13
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In the News
  • “Computational Astronomy Boot Camp” — a feature in the Winter 2012-2013 issue of Science Writers, the quarterly magazine of the National Association of Science Writers, by Trudy E. Bell.

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  • “The Cosmological Supercomputer: How the Bolshoi simulation evolves the universe all over again” — an expert Feature in the October 2012 issue of IEEE Spectrum

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