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Birth of massive black holes in the early universe revealed (Image 2)

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Between 2011 and 2014, a 70-terabyte dataset called the "Renaissance Simulation" was created on the Blue Waters supercomputer to help scientists understand how the universe evolved during its early years. This 30,000 light-year region from the Renaissance Simulation centers on a cluster of young galaxies that generate radiation (white) and metals (green), while heating the surrounding gas. A dark matter halo just outside this heated region forms three supermassive stars (inset), each over 1,000 times the mass of our sun, that will quickly collapse into massive black holes and eventually supermassive black holes over billions of years. [Image 2 of 2 related images. Back to Image 1.]

[This research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (grants PHY 14-30152, AST 15-14700, AST 16-14333, OAC 1835213 and AST 11-09243). The simulation was performed on Blue Waters, operated by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) with PRAC allocation support by NSF awards OAC 08-32662, OAC 12-38993 and OAC 15-14580). The subsequent analysis and the re-simulations were performed with NSF’s XSEDE allocation on the Stampede2 resource. This research is part of the Blue Waters sustained-petascale computing project, which is supported by NSF (awards OAC 07-25070 and OAC 12-38993) and the state of Illinois. Blue Waters is a joint effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and its NCSA.]

To learn more about this research, see the Georgia Tech news story Birth of massive black holes in the early universe revealed. (Date image taken: unknown; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Aug. 19, 2019)

Credit: Advanced Visualization Lab, National Center for Supercomputing Applications

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