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Astronomers Follow Gravitational Waves to Treasure

Astronomers have tracked down the source of a gravitational wave and discovered the first observed kilonova: a nuclear furnace 100 million times brighter than the Sun producing thousands of times the entire mass of the Earth in heavy elements such as precious metals.

Surface Helium Detonation Spells End for White Dwarf

An international team of researchers has found evidence that the brightest stellar explosions in our Universe could be triggered by helium nuclear detonation near the surface of a white dwarf star. Using Hyper Suprime-Cam mounted on the Subaru Telescope, the team detected a type Ia supernova within a day after the explosion, and explained its behavior through a model calculated using the supercomputer ATERUI. This result was reported in Nature published on Oct. 5.

Supersonic gas streams left over from the Big Bang drive massive black hole formation

An international team of researchers has successfully recreated the formation of a massive black hole from supersonic gas streams left over from the Big Bang using a supercomputer ATERUI. Their study, published in this week’s Science, shows this black hole could be the source of the birth and development of the largest and oldest super-massive black holes recorded in our Universe.

First Global Simulation Yields New Insights into Ring System

A team of researchers in Japan modeled the two rings around Chariklo, the smallest body in the Solar System known to have rings. This is the first time an entire ring system has been simulated using realistic sizes for the ring particles while also taking into account collisions and gravitational interactions between the particles. The team’s simulation revealed information about the size and density of the particles in the rings. By considering both the detailed structure and the global picture for the first time, the team found that Chariklo’s inner ring should be unstable without help. It is possible the ring particles are much smaller than predicted or that an undiscovered shepherd satellite around Chariklo is stabilizing the ring. (Press Release: April 28, 2017)

Mystery Solved Behind Birth of Saturn’s Rings

A team of researchers has presented a new model for the origin of Saturn’s rings based on results of computer simulations. The results of the simulations are also applicable to rings of other giant planets and explain the compositional differences between the rings of Saturn and Uranus. The findings were published on October 6 in the online version of Icarus.

Avoiding “Traffic Jam” Creates Impossibly Bright “Lighthouse”

A supercomputer recreated a blinking impossibly bright “monster pulsar.”
The central energy source of enigmatic pulsating Ultra Luminous X-ray sources (ULX) could be a neutron star according to numerical simulations performed by a research group led by Tomohisa Kawashima at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).

Origin of Saturn’s F Ring and Its Shepherd Satellites Revealed

[Summary]

HYODO Ryuki, a second-year student in the Doctoral Program, and Professor OHTSUKI Keiji of the Graduate School of Science at Kobe University have revealed that Saturn’s F ring and its shepherd satellites are natural outcome of the final stage of formation of Saturn’s satellite system. Their finding has been published online in Nature Geoscience on August 17.

Supercomputer for Astronomy “ATERUI” Upgraded to Double its Speed.

The Center for Computational Astrophysics (CfCA) of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan upgraded the supercomputer Cray XC30 system “ATERUI”. By introducing state-of-the-art CPUs, the theoretical peak performance increased from 502 Tflops to 1.058 Pflops, which means that ATERUI made the leap to become a petaflops computer. The new ATERUI will expand the horizons for simulations to understand the Universe and astrophysical phenomena.

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