Researchers, using Australia’s newest supercomputer, have produced a highly detailed image of a supernova remnant – the remains of powerful explosions from dying stars. The supernova remnant, G261.9+5.5, is located somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 light years away.
Data used to produce this image was collected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), a new-gen radio telescope owned and operated by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and then transferred to the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre in Perth, Australia.
Pawsey’s new supercomputing system, Setonix, is being installed in two stages. The first stage is underway, and the second stage is expected to be completed later this year.
Within 24 hours of accessing the first stage of the supercomputer, the researchers processed a series of radio telescope observations including the image of G261.9+5.5.
“The supernova remnant’s dataset was selected to test the processing software on Setonix in a statement. The speed at which we reproduced our current workflows is a good sign as we look to improve and optimise them to fully exploit Setonix’s capabilities,”Dr Wasim Raja, a researcher on CSIRO’s ASKAP team, said in a statement.
Setonix is the key part of a $70 million capital upgrade of the Pawsey Centre. When fully operational, the supercomputer will be up to 30 times more powerful than Pawsey’s earlier Galaxy and Magnus systems combined. Pawsey says this will allow for more processing of the vast amounts of data coming in from many projects, and more science will be achieved in a fraction of the time.
“Setonix’s large, shared memory will allow us to use more of our software features and further enhance the quality of our images. This means we will be able to unearth more from the ASKAP data. We look forward to working together with colleagues at the Pawsey Centre, who were pivotal to this success, as we continue integrating the complete processing pipelines on Setonix,” Dr Raja added.