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A supercomputer to map the cosmos
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A new petascale supercomputer built to study the universe is one of the fastest calculating machines in the world, and certainly the fastest of its kind. The supercomputer is part of ALMA, a new radio telescope that is claimed to be “largest ground-based astronomical project in existence,” HPC Wire reports. The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and “soul” in Spanish) radio telescope is a collection of 66 high-precision antennas (parabolic dishes that act as receivers), strewn over the 5,000 meter-high Chajnantor desert plateau in northern Chile. At those wavelengths, the antennas can detect the so-called “cool Universe,” molecular gas and dust as well as residual radiation from the Big Bang. The antennas can be set to capture signals in a variety of configurations, such that the distance between them can vary between 150 meters to 16 kilometers. That gives the ALMA telescope something akin to a “zoom” capability, as well as very high sensitivity and resolution. As a result, it should be able to produce images 10 times sharper than that of the Hubble Space Telescope. (via A supercomputer to map the cosmos | KurzweilAI)

A supercomputer to map the cosmos

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A new petascale supercomputer built to study the universe is one of the fastest calculating machines in the world, and certainly the fastest of its kind. The supercomputer is part of ALMA, a new radio telescope that is claimed to be “largest ground-based astronomical project in existence,” HPC Wire reports. The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and “soul” in Spanish) radio telescope is a collection of 66 high-precision antennas (parabolic dishes that act as receivers), strewn over the 5,000 meter-high Chajnantor desert plateau in northern Chile. At those wavelengths, the antennas can detect the so-called “cool Universe,” molecular gas and dust as well as residual radiation from the Big Bang. The antennas can be set to capture signals in a variety of configurations, such that the distance between them can vary between 150 meters to 16 kilometers. That gives the ALMA telescope something akin to a “zoom” capability, as well as very high sensitivity and resolution. As a result, it should be able to produce images 10 times sharper than that of the Hubble Space Telescope. (via A supercomputer to map the cosmos | KurzweilAI)

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