Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business

Supercomputer Helps Telescope See Echos From the Big Bang

An international collaboration of scientists has announced the first results of the ACT project, probing the early years of the Universe, at Canada's largest supercomputing conference in Toronto on June 9. The presentation was made by Jonathan Sievers, of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics.

Register for free to listen to this article
Listen with Speechify
0:00
5:00

An international collaboration of scientists has announced the first results of the ACT project, probing the early years of the Universe, at Canada's largest supercomputing conference in Toronto on June 9. The presentation was made by Jonathan Sievers, of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics.

The Atacama Cosmology Telescope is one of the largest telescopes of its kind, and the flood of data from this instrument in Chile in one day is the equivalent of a decade of data from an earlier satellite experiment. This requires the largest computers to make sense of it all -- including SciNet's GPC, the largest computer in Canada. "SciNet is essential for the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) project. The computer has enabled a new frontier in producing maps of the early universe, and is changing the way cosmologists make sense of the cosmos", said Professor Lyman Page of Princeton.

The first results have already given cosmologists the first glimpse of the transition from a simple universe to one containing the more complicated structures seen today. As part of the investigation, the team has identified previously unknown clusters of galaxies and is following them up with optical observations to determine their distances and masses.

"In other words, we have begun to observe how the largest objects in the universe, the clusters of galaxies, emerged from the primordial plasma", said Dr. Sievers.

More information available at http://hpcs.ca/press/act.