Supercomputer Simulation of Magnetic Field Loops on the Sun: NASA IMAGE of the DAY

By Last Updated: November 25, 2014Views: 2282

This is a beautiful image. Nature makes wonderful art. And giant supercomputers. I think my favorite artist is nature filtered through a massive supercomputer. Not really. Still pretty cool though.

Magnetic fields emerging from below the surface of the sun influence the solar wind—a stream of particles that blows continuously from the sun’s atmosphere through the solar system. Researchers at NASA and its university partners are using high-fidelity computer simulations to learn how these magnetic fields emerge, heat the sun’s outer atmosphere and produce sunspots and flares.

This visualization shows magnetic field loops in a portion of the sun, with colors representing magnetic field strength from weak (blue) to strong (red). The simulation was run on the Pleiades supercomputer at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

The knowledge gained through simulation results like this one help researchers better understand the sun, its variations, and its interactions with Earth and the solar system.

Courtesy of NASA.org | Image Credit: Robert Stein, Michigan State University; Timothy Sandstrom, NASA/Ames

Related: NASA showcased more than 35 of the agency’s exciting computational achievements at SC14, the international supercomputing conference, Nov. 16-21, 2014, in New Orleans.

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