“Galactic Bloom” by Zach Hafen and Alex Gurvich

This cosmic flower was not grown in nature, but by astrophysicists using supercomputers. At the center of the flower, a simulated galaxy shines in bright yellow. The galaxy is surrounded by multi- colored petals, representing different origins and consisting of many smaller lines; each is a record of the path of matter through space.

Simulations like this help scientists understand the cosmic origin story of Earth’s ingredients by breaking down the life of the material before it became the world as we know it.

Tools & Techniques: Stampede2 Supercomputer, Firefly Visualization Software, FIRE Simulations

Credit: Alex Gurvich and Zach Hafen, Department of Physics and Astronomy and Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration & Research in Astrophysics (CIERA)

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