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SDSC and NCSA Visualization Teams Collaborate to Create Work Selected for Planetarium Screening at DomeFest 2005 in July

Visualization will be included in traveling program at planetariums nationwide and abroad

Published 07/20/2005

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) today announced that a visualization jointly developed by the SDSC Visualization Team and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is among a select group of international submissions chosen by jury for screening during DomeFest 2005 at the LodeStar Astronomy Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Entitled "Evolution of the Universe: Galaxies Forming on Filamentary Structures", the visualization encapsulates our evolving universe, representing nearly 14 billion years from the Big Bang to the present.

"This visualization allows us to present to the general public a glimpse of the formation of the universe at a scale and resolution not previously possible," said Steve Cutchin, manager of visualization services at SDSC. "It gives the general public an opportunity to actually see and learn about the complexity of our universe in a new and powerful way."

The visualization was made from the most highly defined spatial and temporal simulation results, which were calculated on SDSC's TeraGrid system. The 26 terabytes of data generated by the simulation were mirrored to the TeraGrid system at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. The NCSA visualization team used the SGI Altix/Prism system to artistically render the scientific data at ultra-high resolution.

"Creating meaning-rich, visually arresting animations of scientific data is a very human-intensive, iterative process," stressed Donna Cox, the leader of NCSA's Visualization Division. "At each stage of the process, human intelligence is required to make decisions about what data are most descriptive and how best to draw meaning from the data. These visualizations are the result of a close collaboration between the discipline scientists and the visualization experts at both NCSA and SDSC."

The visualization is one of 15 submissions rendered and aggregated into a 40-minute show of immersive, digital experiences. After its premiere at DomeFest, the show will be screened at the SIGGRAPH exhibition in Los Angeles in August, and later at planetarium venues worldwide.