(Credit: Illustris team)

Understanding the origins of our universe gives researchers insight into how stars and planets were born. From studying supernovas to modeling large swaths of galaxies, astrophysicists use HPC to help uncover how we came to be, and how elements have spread across the universe.

The following is a list of recent reports submitted by users of HLRS's high-performance computing systems describing their scientific interests and research results.

Click on each title for a more detailed report. The complete reports are found on the website of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS), the alliance of Germany's three national supercomputing centers.

Modelling the Near-Earth Space in Six Dimensions
Space is the finest plasma laboratory one can reach, hence many of the fundamental and universal physics discoveries of to the fourth state of matter – plasma – root to space physics. The near-Earth space is the only place one can send spacecraft to study the variability of plasma ranging from meters to millions of kilometres and from milliseconds to hundreds of years. However, one can send only a few satellites on a few orbits, making near-Earth space environment modelling crucial. To model the near-Earth space accurately, one requires a good resolution for the 3D position space, and additional 3D space for particle distributions— demanding computing performance that easily can reach the limits of any available supercomputer.
Principal Investigator: Minna Palmroth
Affiliation: Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space, Helsinki (Finland

Petascale Computations for Atomic and Molecular Collisions: PAMOP and PAMOP2
An international group of scientists leverages high-performance computing to support current and future measurements of atomic photoionization cross-sections at various synchrotron radiation facilities, ion-atom collision experiments, together with plasma, fusion and astrophysical applications. In their work they solve the Schrödinger or Dirac equation using the R-matrix or R-matrix with pseudo-states approach from first principles. Cross-sections and rates for radiative charge transfer, radiative association, and photodissociation collision processes between atoms and ions of interest for several astrophysical applications are presented.
Principal Investigator: Alfred Müller
Affiliation: Institut für Atom- und Molekülphysik, Universität Giessen (Germany)

Simulating the Universe: Predictive Galaxy Formation towards the Smallest Scales
Modern simulations of galaxy formation, which simultaneously follow the co-evolution of dark matter, cosmic gas, stars, and supermassive black holes, enable us to directly calculate the observable signatures that arise from the complex process of cosmic structure formation. TNG50 is an unprecedented ‘next generation’ cosmological, magneto-hydrodynamical simulation -- the third and final volume of the IllustrisTNG project. It captures spatial scales as small as ~100 parsecs, resolving the interior structure of galaxies, and incorporates a comprehensive model for galaxy formation physics.
Principal Investigator: Dylan Nelson(1) and Annalisa Pillepich(2)
Affiliation: (1) MPA Garching (Germany), (2) MPIA Heidelberg (Germany)

The Emergence of Structures in the Next Generation of Hydrodynamical Cosmological Simulations
Hydrodynamical simulations of galaxy formation have now reached sufficient physical fidelity to allow detailed predictions for their formation and evolution over cosmic time. The aim of this project is to carry out a new generation of structure formation simulations, IllustrisTNG, that reach sufficient volume to make accurate predictions for clustering on cosmologically relevant scales, while at the same time being able to compute detailed galaxy morphologies, the enrichment of diffuse gas with metals, and the amplification of magnetic fields during structure growth.
Principal Investigator: Volker Springel
Affiliation: Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Heidelberg University, and Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics (Germany)

Unravelling the interior Evolution of Rocky Planets Through Large-Scale Numerical Simulations
The large amount of data returned by several space missions to the terrestrial planets has greatly improved our understanding of the similarities and differences between the innermost planets of our Solar System. Nevertheless, their interior remains poorly known since most of the data is related to surface processes. In the absence of direct data of the interior evolution of terrestrial planets, numerical simulations of mantle convection are an important mean to reconstruct the thermal and chemical history of the interior of the Earth, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars. In this project, run on Hornet of HLRS, researchers used the mantle convection code Gaia to model the thermal evolution of terrestrial planets and in particular the early stage of their history.
Principal Investigator: Ana-Catalina Plesa
Affiliation: Institute of Planetary Research, Planetary Physics, German Aerospace Center/DLR, Berlin (Germany)