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Multimedia Gallery - Visualization

Lighting Up the Sky

Among the brightest objects in the sky, Type 1a supernovae serve as "standard candles" that help mark off distance across the universe. Alexei Poludnenko and Alexei Khokhlov of the DOE-supported ASC Flash Center at the University of Chicago have run the longest-ever simulation of a Type 1a supernova on SDSC's DataStar supercomputer. Covering one-eighth of the volume, the image shows thecomplex 3-D fractal geometry of the surface of "burning" material (which has undergone nuclear fusion). Left panel is two seconds after ignition, and right panel is 77 minutes after and has expanded to thousands of times larger. Dark red shows the unburned carbon and oxygen mix, and white shows fully burned material.
Image: A. Poludnenko and A. Khokhlov, U. Chicago.
Source: San Diego Supercomputer Center, UC San Diego

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