AUSTRALIA: A magnificent image of a star nearing its end of life has been produced by an Australian supercomputer named Setonix. The star, which is 10,000–15,000 light years away, was found for the first time in 1967 by CSIRO researcher E. R. Hill. But little is known about it.
The image was created using information from the Wajarri Yamatji Country, Western Australia-based Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, which is owned and run by Australia’s national research agency. The analysis of the data then took place after being swiftly moved to the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre in Perth.
When a star with at least five times the mass of our sun dies, it causes a supernova, which is the largest explosion that humans have ever been able to observe. According to NASA, stars’ cores, or centres, burn enormous amounts of nuclear fuel.
The centre heats up dramatically due to the massive amount of energy produced. A large star cools down when its fuel runs out. The pressure decreases as a result. The star abruptly collapses as a result of gravity taking control.
The supercomputer, known as Setonix, is part of a $70 million capital improvement project for the Pawsey Centre and is named after the quokka (Setonix brachyurus), a species native to Western Australia. While the first stage of the supercomputer installation is already in progress, the second step is anticipated to be finished this year.
An excellent method to put the Setonix system through its paces and see what is feasible is to process data from the ASKAP astronomical surveys. “We continue to improve and optimise our present workflows to make the most of Setonix’s capabilities, thus the ease with which we were able to recreate them is encouraging,” Dr Wasim Raja of the CSIRO’s ASKAP team stated.
Given the difficulties in imaging such a complicated object, the dataset from the supernova remnant was chosen to test the processing capabilities of the Setonix system. According to researchers, the ASKAP image’s revelation of the remnant’s anatomy will enable them to investigate the remnant and its surrounding medium at unprecedented depth.
In the future, they intend to use this data to extract more details about the residuum’s age, size, and nature. When Setonix is fully operational, Pawsey claims that it will be up to 30 times more potent than Pawsey’s older Galaxy and Magnus systems put together. As a result, more science will be completed in a shorter length of time by processing the enormous volumes of data pouring in from various initiatives.