Ohio Supercomputer Center helps researchers map invisible universe

Map of dark matter made from gravitational lensing measurements of 26 million galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey. The map covers about 1/30th of the entire sky and spans several billion light years in extent. Red regions have more dark matter than average, blue regions less dark matter. Image credit: Chihway Chang of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, and the DES collaboration. Credit: Ohio Supercomputer Center

The Ohio Supercomputer Center played a critical role in helping researchers reach a milestone mapping the growth of the universe from its infancy to present day.

The new results released Aug. 3 confirm the surprisingly simple but puzzling theory that the present universe is composed of only 4 percent ordinary matter, 26 percent mysterious , and the remaining 70 percent in the form of mysterious dark energy, which causes the accelerating expansion of the universe.

The findings from researchers at The Ohio State University and their colleagues from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration are based on data collected during the first year of the DES, which covers more than 1,300 square degrees of the sky or about the area of 6,000 full moons. DES uses the Dark Energy Camera mounted on the Blanco 4m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory high in the Chilean Andes.

According to Klaus Honscheid, Ph.D., professor of physics and leader of the Ohio State DES group, OSC was critical to getting the research done in a timely manner. His computational specialists – Michael Troxel and Niall MacCrann, postdoctoral fellows – used an estimated 300,000 core hours on OSC’s Ruby Cluster through a condo arrangement between OSC and Ohio State’s Center of Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP).

The team took…

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