NCSA Debuts “Solar Superstorms” Documentary

June 30, 2015

June 30 — A 24-minute, high-resolution science documentary about the dynamics of the Sun that features data-driven visualizations produced by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will debut June 30 at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum in Baton Rouge before rolling out to more than a dozen planetariums and science centers around the world.

“Solar Superstorms” was produced as part of a project called CADENS (Centrality of Advanced Digitally Enabled Science). Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, CADENS spotlights the new knowledge produced thanks to the massive computing and data analysis capabilities now available to scientists, engineers, and scholars. In addition to NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL), led by Donna Cox, the CADENS team includes Spitz Creative Media, Thomas Lucas Productions, and the leaders of the NSF-supported Blue Waters and XSEDE projects, which enable thousands of people across the country to carry out computational and data-driven research.

“The ‘Solar Superstorms’ dome show is a direct result of scientific research whose advance is dependent on extremely powerful computer simulation and visualization,” said Rudolf Eigenmann, a program director at the National Science Foundation. “The resulting representations of the high-resolution, complex numeric simulations convey the beauty, the power and the human relevance of solar storms.”

Narrated by acclaimed actor Benedict Cumberbatch, “Solar Superstorms,” asks the question, “What can cause our normally benign sun to erupt in such fury that it can threaten the world’s power and technological infrastructure?” To answer that question, this innovative show takes audiences into the inner workings of our star. It follows the path of hot magnetized gas from deep inside the Sun, through its tangled journey through the Sun’s churning outer layers, and on to explosive magnetic eruptions so powerful they can affect the Earth.

To tell this story, AVL visualized data from researchers across the country who use digital tools to understand solar phenomena. For example, Homa Karimabadi, Mahidhar Tatineni and Vadim Roytershteyn of the University of California, San Diego, used NCSA’s Blue Waters supercomputer to simulate a solar wind interacting with Earth’s magnetic field during a powerful solar storm. Data from the team’s numerical simulations were visualized by AVL, creating a dramatic view of the resulting turbulent front. Such large disturbances can result in loss of communication satellites and blackouts.

Calculating the evolution of the sun’s magnetism is too complex for any single computational simulation, so the show’s animations combine four simulations by different groups of scientists, which span from the deep body of the sun to the solar corona.

In the outer 30 percent or so of a star like the Sun, heat is transported outward by convection. The convective circulation carries along any magnetism present in the gas, and can stretch, twist and strengthen the magnetic field—a solar dynamo. A simulation conducted by Mark Miesch of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Nick Nelson, previously at NCAR and now at Los Alamos National Laboratory, examined this magnetized convection deep in the body of a rotating sunlike star, where the rotation organizes the slow circulation into large-scale structures. Their simulations were conducted at the Laboratory for Computational Dynamics, University of Colorado, Boulder and on Pleiades, NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division.

Robert Stein, Michigan State University, used Pleiades to simulate the solar dynamo in the rapidly circulating gas in the outermost 2 percent of the sun. It is from this layer that bundles of magnetic flux can emerge from the Sun’s surface, being visible as sunspots, and can drive the solar flares and coronal mass ejections that produce the dangerous storms in Earth’s space weather. Pat Moran, NASA Ames, calculated magnetic field lines from Stein’s simulations, which AVL visualized.

Matthias Rempel, NCAR, used the Kraken system at the National Institute for Computational sciences to simulate a patch of the Sun’s surface covered with “granulation”—the continent-sized convection cells carrying heat to the surface—and following in detail the formation of sunspots.

Yuhong Fan, NCAR, used NCAR’s Yellowstone supercomputer and the Discover supercomputer at NASA’s Center for Climate Simulation to simulate the region in the solar corona—above the Sun’s surface—as magnetic fields anchored in the body of the sun become increasingly strained and then suddenly release stored energy as the field reconnects, launching first one and then a second coronal mass ejection into space.

John Wise, Georgia Tech, used Blue Waters to simulate the early universe (from ~20 million to 500 million years after the Big Bang), showing the formation of the first generations of stars as their light ionizes much of the space around them. For the visualizations in the documentary, three features were targeted: the dense filaments along which stars form; the large regions of gas that become ionized and heated as new stars begin emitting lots of ultraviolet light, and later cool off after those stars’ lives end; and the heavier elements mixed into the gas after those dying stars explode as supernovae, forming small bubbles of high “metallicity density.” A second supernova simulation examines the life and death of a single first-generation star, looking in detail at the processes that mixes the heavy elements into their environment.

“Solar Superstorms” was produced in association with Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and was made possible with support from the National Science Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Film Office.

After its June 30 North American premiere, “Solar Superstorms” will open July 4 at Planétarium Gallilée at Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole in France. It will then roll out to more than a dozen planetariums and science centers around the world, including Planetarium Hamburg (Germany), the State Museum of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg), Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, Georgia), and the Eugenides Planetarium (Athens).

“We are very impressed with this new film,” said Cyril Ruiz of Planétarium Gallilée. “The imagery is of great quality, and the narration is succinct, allowing the audience plenty of room to contemplate the images in this highly immersive medium.”

In addition to “Solar Superstorms,” CADENS will produce two more ultra-high-resolution digital documentaries for giant screen fulldome theaters and nine high-definition documentaries for online distribution via YouTube, Hulu, and other outlets. For more information, visit http://cadens.ncsa.illinois.edu/.

About “Solar Superstorms”

“Solar Superstorms” is available in 4K 2D, with 5.1 or stereo soundtrack and distributed by Spitz Creative Media and Evans & Sutherland. More info/trailer at http://solarsuperstorms.spitzcreativemedia.com/ and http://cadens.ncsa.illinois.edu/documentary/solar_superstorms.

About NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory

The Advanced Visualization Laboratory’s (AVL) mission is to communicate science, inspiring audiences to learn about scientific concepts through capturing the thrill of scientific discovery and wonder of complex systems. Working in close collaboration with domain scientists, AVL creates high-resolution, cinematic, data-driven scientific visualizations. The lab is part of the University of Illinois’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which is dedicated to providing powerful computers and expert support to help thousands of scientists and engineers across the country improve our world. Visit http://avl.ncsa.illinois.edu/.

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!

Nvidia Aims Clara Healthcare at Drug Discovery, Imaging via DGX

April 12, 2021

Nvidia Corp. continues to expand its Clara healthcare platform with the addition of computational drug discovery and medical imaging tools based on its DGX A100 platform, related InfiniBand networking and its AGX develop Read more…

Nvidia Serves Up Its First Arm Datacenter CPU ‘Grace’ During Kitchen Keynote

April 12, 2021

Today at Nvidia’s annual spring GPU technology conference, held virtually once more due to the ongoing pandemic, the company announced its first ever Arm-based CPU, called Grace in honor of the famous American programmer Grace Hopper. Read more…

Nvidia Debuts BlueField-3 – Its Next DPU with Big Plans for an Expanded Role

April 12, 2021

Nvidia today announced its next generation data processing unit (DPU) – BlueField-3 – adding more substance to its evolving concept of the DPU as a full-fledged partner to CPUs and GPUs in delivering advanced computi Read more…

Nvidia’s Newly DPU-Enabled SuperPOD Is a Multi-Tenant, Cloud-Native Supercomputer

April 12, 2021

At GTC 2021, Nvidia has announced an upgraded iteration of its DGX SuperPods, calling the new offering “the first cloud-native, multi-tenant supercomputer.” The newly announced SuperPods come just two years after the Read more…

Tune in to Watch Nvidia’s GTC21 Keynote with Jensen Huang – Recording Now Available

April 12, 2021

Join HPCwire right here on Monday, April 12, at 8:30 am PT to see the Nvidia GTC21 keynote from Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, livestreamed in its entirety. Hosted by HPCwire, you can click to join the Huang keynote on our livestream to hear Nvidia’s expected news and... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Uses NICE DCV for High-Performance 3D Remote Visualization

 

Volkswagen Passenger Cars has been one of the world’s largest car manufacturers for over 70 years. The company delivers more than 6 million automobiles to global customers every year, from 50 production locations on five continents. Read more…

The US Places Seven Additional Chinese Supercomputing Entities on Blacklist

April 8, 2021

As tensions between the U.S. and China continue to simmer, the U.S. government today added seven Chinese supercomputing entities to an economic blacklist. The U.S. Entity List bars U.S. firms from supplying key technolog Read more…

Nvidia Serves Up Its First Arm Datacenter CPU ‘Grace’ During Kitchen Keynote

April 12, 2021

Today at Nvidia’s annual spring GPU technology conference, held virtually once more due to the ongoing pandemic, the company announced its first ever Arm-based CPU, called Grace in honor of the famous American programmer Grace Hopper. Read more…

Nvidia Debuts BlueField-3 – Its Next DPU with Big Plans for an Expanded Role

April 12, 2021

Nvidia today announced its next generation data processing unit (DPU) – BlueField-3 – adding more substance to its evolving concept of the DPU as a full-fle Read more…

Nvidia’s Newly DPU-Enabled SuperPOD Is a Multi-Tenant, Cloud-Native Supercomputer

April 12, 2021

At GTC 2021, Nvidia has announced an upgraded iteration of its DGX SuperPods, calling the new offering “the first cloud-native, multi-tenant supercomputer.” Read more…

Tune in to Watch Nvidia’s GTC21 Keynote with Jensen Huang – Recording Now Available

April 12, 2021

Join HPCwire right here on Monday, April 12, at 8:30 am PT to see the Nvidia GTC21 keynote from Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, livestreamed in its entirety. Hosted by HPCwire, you can click to join the Huang keynote on our livestream to hear Nvidia’s expected news and... Read more…

The US Places Seven Additional Chinese Supercomputing Entities on Blacklist

April 8, 2021

As tensions between the U.S. and China continue to simmer, the U.S. government today added seven Chinese supercomputing entities to an economic blacklist. The U Read more…

Habana’s AI Silicon Comes to San Diego Supercomputer Center

April 8, 2021

Habana Labs, an Intel-owned AI company, has partnered with server maker Supermicro to provide high-performance, high-efficiency AI computing in the form of new Read more…

Intel Partners Debut Latest Servers Based on the New Intel Gen 3 ‘Ice Lake’ Xeons

April 7, 2021

Fresh from Intel’s launch of the company’s latest third-generation Xeon Scalable “Ice Lake” processors on April 6 (Tuesday), Intel server partners Cisco, Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo simultaneously unveiled their first server models built around the latest chips. And though arch-rival AMD may... Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

CERN Is Betting Big on Exascale

April 1, 2021

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) involves 23 countries, 15,000 researchers, billions of dollars a year, and the biggest machine in the worl Read more…

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

HPE Launches Storage Line Loaded with IBM’s Spectrum Scale File System

April 6, 2021

HPE today launched a new family of storage solutions bundled with IBM’s Spectrum Scale Erasure Code Edition parallel file system (description below) and featu Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

Quantum Computer Start-up IonQ Plans IPO via SPAC

March 8, 2021

IonQ, a Maryland-based quantum computing start-up working with ion trap technology, plans to go public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger a Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Can Deep Learning Replace Numerical Weather Prediction?

March 3, 2021

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a mainstay of supercomputing. Some of the first applications of the first supercomputers dealt with climate modeling, and Read more…

Livermore’s El Capitan Supercomputer to Debut HPE ‘Rabbit’ Near Node Local Storage

February 18, 2021

A near node local storage innovation called Rabbit factored heavily into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s decision to select Cray’s proposal for its CORAL-2 machine, the lab’s first exascale-class supercomputer, El Capitan. Details of this new storage technology were revealed... Read more…

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

African Supercomputing Center Inaugurates ‘Toubkal,’ Most Powerful Supercomputer on the Continent

February 25, 2021

Historically, Africa hasn’t exactly been synonymous with supercomputing. There are only a handful of supercomputers on the continent, with few ranking on the Read more…

The History of Supercomputing vs. COVID-19

March 9, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a greater challenge to the high-performance computing community than any before. HPCwire's coverage of the supercomputing response t Read more…

HPE Names Justin Hotard New HPC Chief as Pete Ungaro Departs

March 2, 2021

HPE CEO Antonio Neri announced today (March 2, 2021) the appointment of Justin Hotard as general manager of HPC, mission critical solutions and labs, effective Read more…

AMD Launches Epyc ‘Milan’ with 19 SKUs for HPC, Enterprise and Hyperscale

March 15, 2021

At a virtual launch event held today (Monday), AMD revealed its third-generation Epyc “Milan” CPU lineup: a set of 19 SKUs -- including the flagship 64-core, 280-watt 7763 part --  aimed at HPC, enterprise and cloud workloads. Notably, the third-gen Epyc Milan chips achieve 19 percent... Read more…

Microsoft, HPE Bringing AI, Edge, Cloud to Earth Orbit in Preparation for Mars Missions

February 12, 2021

The International Space Station will soon get a delivery of powerful AI, edge and cloud computing tools from HPE and Microsoft Azure to expand technology experi Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire