Dark Energy Survey Data Processed by NCSA Now Available to Scientists Everywhere

January 11, 2018

Jan. 11, 2018 — Researchers around the world can now explore the first three years of data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) processed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At a special session held during the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C., scientists on the Dark Energy Survey announced the first major release of data from the survey including information on more than 400 million astronomical objects, including distant galaxies billions of light years away as well as stars in our own galaxy.

DES scientists are using this data, collected as part of the largest and deepest cosmological survey to date, to learn more about dark energy, the mysterious force believed to be accelerating the expansion of the universe. The survey enables astronomers to map out the galaxy distribution half-way back in cosmic time, which represents a major breakthrough in survey science and will enable many scholarly achievements in the future.

The Dark Energy Camera, the primary observation tool of DES, is one of the most powerful digital imaging devices in existence. It was built and tested at Fermilab, the lead laboratory on DES, and is mounted on the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 4-meter Blanco telescope, part of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, a division of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO).

The images captured by the DECam are then sent to NCSA’s Dark Energy Survey Data Management (DESDM) Project, which has been fully developed and operated by NCSA with support from NSF. The DESDM system processes and calibrates the DES data and the DECam Community Pipeline, used by NOAO to process DECam data obtained by non-DES observers.

The DES images captured each night are received in large volumes of observations over high-speed networks from the telescope in Chile. Using the Blue Waters supercomputerIllinois Campus Cluster Program, and Open Science Grid at Fermilab, the DESDM team first processes all of the images. After each individual exposure has been processed, the DESDM team combines all of the images with the help of Blue Waters in order to create a full and deep map of the southern sky, allowing the DES project to achieve depth. Through the efforts of NCSA’s DESDM team, the raw data generated by the DECAM instrument at the CTIO observatory is turned into science-ready data products.

“We’re excited that this anticipated release of high-quality imaging and catalog data is now accessible to researchers around the world. While this project was designed with the goal of understanding dark energy and dark matter, the huge amount of data in images and catalogs, processed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at Illinois, will bring new scientific applications, challenges and opportunities for discovery not only to astronomers but also data scientists,” said Matias Carrasco Kind, Release Scientist for the Dark Energy Survey and member of the DESDM team at NCSA, who coordinated this release. “This was truly a collaborative effort from many DES members and institutions around the world,” he added.

“This is an outstanding collective achievement and with the help of NOAO and LIneA we are providing the tools and resources to access and analyze this rich and robust data in an unprecedented partnership,” added Don Petravick, Principal Investigator for the DESDM team at NCSA.

“NCSA recognized many years ago the key role that advanced computing and data management would have in astronomy and is thrilled with the results of this collaboration with campus and our partners at Fermilab and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory,” said NCSA Director Bill Gropp. NCSA’s commitment to astronomy reaches beyond DES, however, as they will also serve as the global central hub and data center for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project, the next generation survey which is set to be fully operational in 2023.

In addition to announcing the public release of their data, DES scientists shared some of their preliminary cosmological findings in the special session at the American Astronomical Society meeting today, such as the discovery of a dozen new stellar streams, remnants of smaller galaxies torn apart and devoured by our Milky Way.

The public release of the first three years of DES data fulfills the project’s commitment to sharing their findings with the astronomy community and the public. The data cover the full DES footprint—about 5,000 square degrees, or one eighth of the entire sky—and include more than 38,000 exposures taken with the Dark Energy Camera. The images correspond to hundreds of terabytes of data and are being released along with catalogs of hundreds of millions of galaxies and stars.

“There are all kinds of discoveries waiting to be found in the data,” said Dark Energy Survey Director Josh Frieman of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. “While DES scientists are focused on using it to learn about dark energy, we wanted to enable astronomers to explore these images in new ways, to improve our understanding of the universe.”

“The great thing about a big astronomical survey like this is that it also opens a door to many other studies, like the new stellar streams,” added Adam Bolton, Associate Director for the Community Science and Data Center at NOAO. “With the DES data now available as a ‘digital sky,’ accessible to all, my hope is that these data will lead to the crowdsourcing of new and unexpected discoveries.”

The DES data can be accessed online from the NCSA site.

One new discovery enabled by the data set is the detection of roughly a dozen new streams of stars around our Milky Way. Our home galaxy is surrounded by a massive halo of dark matter, which exerts a powerful gravitational pull on smaller, nearby galaxies. The Milky Way grows by pulling in, ripping apart and absorbing these smaller systems. As stars are torn away, they form streams across the sky that can be detected using the Dark Energy Camera. Even so, stellar streams are extremely difficult to find since they are composed of relatively few stars spread out over a large area of sky.

“It’s exciting that we found so many stellar streams,” said astrophysicist Alex Drlica-Wagner of Fermilab. “We can use these streams to measure the amount, distribution, and clumpiness of dark matter in the Milky Way. Studies of stellar streams will help constrain the fundamental properties of dark matter.”

Prior to the new discoveries by DES, only about two dozen stellar streams had been discovered. Many of them were found by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a precursor to the Dark Energy Survey. The effort to detect new stellar streams in the Dark Energy Survey was led by University of Chicago graduate student Nora Shipp.

“We’re interested in these streams because they teach us about the formation and structure of the Milky Way and its dark matter halo. Stellar streams give us a snapshot of a larger galaxy being built out of smaller ones,” said Shipp. “These discoveries are possible because DES is the widest, deepest and best-calibrated survey out there.”

Other DES work concerns quasars, the supermassive black holes in the the middle of many galaxies. While the black holes themselves give off almost no light, a huge surrounding disk of inspiraling material can make quasars some of the brightest objects in the universe. It was long thought that these massive disks could only change slowly and would be stable for thousands or even millions of years. But recently, astronomers began noticing that some rare quasars became brighter or dimmer by factors of 2 or even 10 in only a few years.

Dr. Nick Rumbaugh and Prof. Yue Shen at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign used DES data to study for these Extremely Variable Quasars. They identified 977 quasars with massive luminosity changes that occurred in only fifteen years or less. Their work suggests than many if not most quasars routinely undergo such wild changes. What’s more, it suggests that this variability is a normal part of a quasar’s life cycle and not due to a passing galactic cloud obscuring the quasar or a star suddenly slamming into the black hole.

Currently in its fifth year of observation, DES plans one more major public data release after the survey is completed. The second release will be the same one eighth of the sky but much deeper and more detailed.

This work is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

About DES

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is a collaboration of more than 400 scientists from 26 institutions in seven countries. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, U.S. National Science Foundation, Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, Higher Education Funding Council for England, ETH Zurich for Switzerland, National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics at Ohio State University, Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos, Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico and Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the collaborating institutions in the Dark Energy Survey, the list of which can be found at www.darkenergysurvey.org/collaboration.


Source: NCSA

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

RSC Reports 500Tflops, Hot Water Cooled System Deployed at JINR

April 18, 2018

RSC, developer of supercomputers and advanced HPC systems based in Russia, today reported deployment of “the world's first 100% ‘hot water’ liquid cooled supercomputer” at Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JI Read more…

By Staff

New Device Spots Quantum Particle ‘Fingerprint’

April 18, 2018

Majorana particles have been observed by university researchers employing a device consisting of layers of magnetic insulators on a superconducting material. The advance opens the door to controlling the elusive particle Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’s introduction of an ARM-based system (XC-50) last November. Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Hybrid HPC is Speeding Time to Insight and Revolutionizing Medicine

High performance computing (HPC) is a key driver of success in many verticals today, and health and life science industries are extensively leveraging these capabilities. Read more…

Hennessy & Patterson: A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture

April 17, 2018

On Monday June 4, 2018, 2017 A.M. Turing Award Winners John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson will deliver the Turing Lecture at the 45th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) in Los Angeles. The Read more…

By Staff

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’ Read more…

By John Russell

IBM: Software Ecosystem for OpenPOWER is Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2018

With key pieces of the IBM/OpenPOWER versus Intel/x86 gambit settling into place – e.g., the arrival of Power9 chips and Power9-based systems, hyperscaler sup Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cloud-Readiness and Looking Beyond Application Scaling

April 11, 2018

There are two aspects to consider when determining if an application is suitable for running in the cloud. The first, which we will discuss here under the title Read more…

By Chris Downing

Transitioning from Big Data to Discovery: Data Management as a Keystone Analytics Strategy

April 9, 2018

The past 10-15 years has seen a stark rise in the density, size, and diversity of scientific data being generated in every scientific discipline in the world. Key among the sciences has been the explosion of laboratory technologies that generate large amounts of data in life-sciences and healthcare research. Large amounts of data are now being stored in very large storage name spaces, with little to no organization and a general unease about how to approach analyzing it. Read more…

By Ari Berman, BioTeam, Inc.

IBM Expands Quantum Computing Network

April 5, 2018

IBM is positioning itself as a first mover in establishing the era of commercial quantum computing. The company believes in order for quantum to work, taming qu Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

FY18 Budget & CORAL-2 – Exascale USA Continues to Move Ahead

April 2, 2018

It was not pretty. However, despite some twists and turns, the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget is complete and ended with some very positi Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Te Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This