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Cosmos code helps probe space oddities

Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:18 am

Black holes make for a great space mystery. They're so massive that nothing, not even light, can escape a black hole once it gets close enough. A great mystery for scientists is that there's evidence of powerful jets of electrons and protons that shoot out of the top and bottom of some black holes. Yet no one knows how these jets form.

Computer code called Cosmos now fuels supercomputer simulations of black hole jets and is starting to reveal the mysteries of black holes and other space oddities.

"Cosmos, the root of the name, came from the fact that the code was originally designed to do cosmology. It's morphed into doing a broad range of astrophysics," explained Chris Fragile, a professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the College of Charleston. Fragile helped develop the Cosmos code in 2005 while working as a post-doctoral researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), along with Steven Murray (LLNL) and Peter Anninos (LLNL).

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:20 am

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Credit: Chris Fragile

Shown here is a multi-physics simulation of an Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) jet colliding with and triggering star formation within an intergalactic gas cloud (red indicates jet material, blue is neutral Hydrogen [H I] gas, and green is cold, molecular Hydrogen [H_2] gas.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:21 am

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Credit: Chris Fragile

Molecular cloud G2 (orange, left) gets ripped apart as it approaches a black hole (white, right) in this Cosmos code simulation.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:25 am



A team of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) have conducted a large survey to investigate the relationship between galaxies that have undergone mergers and the activity of the supermassive black holes at their cores.

The team studied a large selection of galaxies with extremely luminous centres — known as active galactic nuclei (AGNs) — thought to be the result of large quantities of heated matter circling around and being consumed by a supermassive black hole.

 
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