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Visualization of Pad Abort 1 flight test of Orion's Launch Abort System
12.31.19 – NAS Visualization Tops Most Beautiful Science GIFs in 2019
Scientific American magazine selected a video from an "exquisitely detailed simulation" by NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division researchers as one of their most beautiful science GIFs in 2019. This first-of-a-kind simulation of the Orion spacecraft’s launch abort system (LAS), run on the Electra supercomputer, helps reduce risk and ensure the safety of astronauts if a life-threatening event arises during launch. Orion will carry the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024 and return them safely back to Earth.
Cross-section of visualization showing chemical species in atmosphere
12.27.19 – ADAPT Accelerates Simulation of Atmospheric Chemistry Using Machine Learning
Air pollution is a global problem: more than 90% of all humans breath air that is unhealthy. This is why NASA scientists combine satellite observations and computer simulations of atmospheric chemistry to help understand the origins, quality, and extent of harmful air—using the compute resources of the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Cross-section of graph showing monthly mean fractional observation impact
12.09.19 - GMAO Science Snapshot: Assessing the Impact of Nearly 40 Years of Observations on Short-Range MERRA-2 Forecasts
The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) atmospheric assimilation system carries along with it the necessary ingredients to generate adjoint-based observation impacts. GMAO researchers use the adjoint of the GEOS general circulation model and the adjoint of the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation analysis to evaluate observation impact for MERRA-2, which runs at the NCCS.
Graph of unbalanced systems
11.20.19 – At SC19: Bespoke Supercomputing for Climate and Weather
NASA approached Hyperion Research to explore options for bespoke high-performance computing (HPC) solutions targeted at weather and climate research. At SC19, Hyperion’s Bob Sorenson explained the study surveying 15 weather and climate organizations in the U.S. and Europe and major HPC suppliers.
Visualization of gas in and around an evolving galaxy
11.20.19 – Illuminating the Gas Between Galaxies with Supercomputing
Galaxies contain millions of stars, and they grow by pulling in gas to make even more. How gases ebb and flow between galaxies and their surroundings is an essential question that NASA’s Pleiades supercomputer is helping to answer for researchers at the Space Telescope Science Institute and Johns Hopkins University.
Visualization of X-57 “Maxwell” electric experimental aircraf
11.19.19 – NASA’s All-Electric X-57 X-Plane: A Cleaner Way to Fly
Just as electric cars are becoming more and more commonplace on our roads each day, aerospace engineers are seeking to make electric air transportation a reality. NASA engineers are using supercomputers to accurately predict flight conditions for the agency’s X-57 Maxwell electric experimental aircraft’s flight simulator.
Visualization of clouds over Mars
11.18.19 – A Cloudy Martian Night, Through the Eyes of a Supercomputer
As NASA’s Curiosity rover makes its way over the surface of Mars, it’s sometimes accompanied by clouds drifting by in the sky above. The NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at Ames Research Center provides Mars researchers with the necessary computing power to produce high-resolution data visualizations to study how the planet’s atmosphere works, in fine detail.
Photo of new Discover supercomputer compute unit
11.18.19 - Aspen Systems to Boost Performance of NASA NCCS Discover Supercomputer
Today Aspen Systems announced that the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight has increased the computational power to their primary computing platform—the Discover supercomputer—by over an incredible 30%.
Visualization of sea surface speed
11.08.19 - Scientists Run Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Simulations at Groundbreaking Resolutions on NASA Supercomputers
Using NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Facility and NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) supercomputers, NASA and university scientists are running simulations with a new coupled atmosphere-ocean model to study swirls of ocean water called eddies.
Map showing air qualiy forecast
11.07.19 - Clearing the Air: NASA Scientists Use NVIDIA RAPIDS to Accelerate Pollution Forecasts
NASA research scientist Christoph Keller and collaborators are using NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs and NVIDIA RAPIDS data science software libraries to accelerate machine learning algorithms using data from the NASA Center for Climate Simulation to model air pollution formation.
Photo of engineers discussing Space Launch System rocket data at hyperwall
11.06.19 – From Wind to Data, in No Time Flat
Collaborating with supercomputing and visualization experts at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility, aerospace engineers linked wind-tunnel test data with the Pleiades supercomputer for near-real-time processing and display of pressure-sensitive paint data, to help speed spacecraft and aircraft design.
Image of Typhoon Hagibis
11.06.19 - GMAO Science Snapshots: Modeling Super Typhoon Hagibis and Latin American Fires
Versions of the GEOS atmosphere model better represent mesoscale features of Typhoon Hagibis and capture the evolution and transport of carbon monoxide from Latin American fires. GEOS runs at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Visualization of forest model output
11.01.19 - Accelerating Fine-Scale Forest Modeling Across the North American Boreal Zone
NASA scientists are using high-performance computing resources at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) to test and accelerate forest modeling and achieve a better understanding of forest response to climate change and wildfires. .
Map showing European heatwave
10.25.19 - GMAO Science Snapshots: MERRA-2 Captures Summer Heatwaves and Winter Stratospheric Wave Train
The MERRA-2 reanalysis running at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) captured American and European heatwaves during Summer 2019 and an unusual train of waves in the Southern Hemisphere stratosphere during Winter 2019.
Quantum chip
10.23.19 – Google and NASA Achieve Quantum Supremacy
The advanced techniques needed for simulating quantum computations were developed with help from NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division experts and the Pleiades and Electra supercomputers.
Snapshot of total temperature distribution at supersonic speed of mach 2.4
10.10.19 – Summit Simulates How Humans will 'Brake' During Mars Landing
Visualizations from the data visualization team at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division (using simulations run on Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Summit supercomputer) help NASA Langley researchers understand the complex interactions at play when descending to the red planet.
Portion of U.S. map showing improvements in snow depth
10.11.19 - NCCS Hosts New Land Data Assimilation System for the National Climate Assessment
Uniting NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) computing with NASA Land Information System software, NASA Goddard Sapce Flight Center scientists built and ran a new land data assimilation system that uses multi-generational satellite observations to better estimate land surface changes including droughts and floods.
Artist’s representation of Venus with water
09.23.19 - Venus May Have Been Habitable Until a Mysterious Catastrophe Millions of Years Ago
In a new simulation study run at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS), scientists make the case for how ancient Venus could have once supported life alongside oceans of liquid water, until a mysterious resurfacing event took all that away about 700 million years ago.
Visualization of smoke from Arctic fires
09.20.19 – GMAO Science Snapshot: Impacts of 2019 Boreal Forest Fires on Atmospheric Pollution
Using the NASA/Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) numerical model GEOS and the observation-based QFED, fire emissions and transport from 2019 northern hemisphere summer Boreal fires have been analyzed and are compared with previous years. GEOS runs at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
High-resolution view of the Moon’s topography from the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
09.13.19 - Scientists Simulate Ancient Lunar Atmosphere at NCCS
Using NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) computing resources, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), Columbia University, University of Colorado, and NASA Langley Research Center scientists simulated an ancient lunar atmosphere that could have brought substantial amounts of water to the Moon’s poles.
Visualization of Hurricane Dorian rainfall and winds
09.05.19 - A Devastating Stall by Hurricane Dorian
As shown by satellite and model data, a remarkable slowdown led to a prolonged lashing from winds, waves, and rain that devastated Grand Bahama Island. Data sources include NASA's GEOS-5 model running at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Hackweek participants at work
08.23.19 - Hacking ICESat-2: How an Open Science Workshop Helped Scientists Wrangle Big Data
Planned for a year by 20 scientists from organizations including NASA Goddard, the University of Washington (UW), and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the ICESat-2 Hackweek took place at UW in Seattle June 17–21, 2019. The event resulted in more scientists being interested in, and better able to take advantage of, ADAPT science cloud resources from the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Visualization of atmospheric conditions during a significant melt event on the Greenland Ice Sheet
08.20.19 - GMAO Science Snapshot: Historic Greenland Ice Melt Event Follows European Heatwave
The NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Forward Processing (GEOS-FP) system, which runs at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS), captured the formation of a massive high-pressure dome over much of Europe and the advection of desert air from Northern Africa starting on July 22, 2019. GEOS=FP is an effort of the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO).
Aerosols visualization
08.09.19 - NASA, NOAA Team Up In Effort To Study Impact Of Wild Fires On Air Quality
Using satellite, airplane, and ground instrument data, models hosted on the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) Discover supercomputer are tracking smoke that’s drifting across the country.
Concentration map of ozone
08.05.19 - Air Pollutant Forecasts Using the NASA GEOS-CF Model: Global Modeling Assessment of Pollutants During Wildfires
The May and June 2019 wildfires that occurred in Alberta, Canada led to increased smog, which resulted in air quality warnings issued in that region. Running at the at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS), GEOS-CF was able to simulate in near real-time how these fires impacted the change in pollutant concentrations by using satellite observations to constrain fire emissions.
Researchers check out the Doppler Aerosol Wind Lidar (DAWN) instrument aboard a DC-8 airplane
07.23.19 - Field Campaigns on Two Coasts Benefit from GMAO and NCCS Forecast Support
Spring 2019 field campaigns on North America’s West and Gulf Coasts benefited from substantial forecast support by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) and NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Photo of salidrone sailing on ocean
07.19.19 - GMAO Research Brief: Saildrone Baja Field Campaign: A Comparison of Surface Meteorology with GEOS Products
Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) researchers compared data from a saildrone, an unmanned surface vehicle carrying a comprehensive suite of instruments, to GEOS-FP and MERRA-2 near-surface meteorology and water temperatures datasets produced at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Visualization of Tunguska asteroid simulation
07.15.19 – Tunguska Revisited: 111-Year-Old Mystery Impact Inspires New, More Optimistic Asteroid Predictions
NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) researchers modeled more than 50 million asteroid impact scenarios to reveal the most likely type of event that devastated Russia’s Tunguska region in 1908—the largest asteroid impact witnessed by modern humans. Their findings, reported in this month’s special issue of the journal Icarus, helped determine the average frequency of such events.
Model of July 2, 2019 total solar eclipse
07.03.19 - How Scientists Used NASA Data to Predict Appearance of July 2 Eclipse
Using data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, Predictive Science Inc. ran a model over roughly two days on the Pleiades supercomputer at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division.
Photo of clouds from space
06.28.19 - NCCS Supercomputer’s Newest Unit Hosts NASA Weather Forecasting Model Tests
The newest and most powerful addition to the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) Discover supercomputer has been hosting 40-day simulations testing an updated version of NASA’s weather forecasting model.
Satellite image of the Kamchatka Peninsula
06.20.19 - Looking For Freshwater In All the Snowy Places
Empowered by the Discover Supercomputer at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) and the Deepthought2 High-Performance Computing cluster at the University of Maryland, NASA-funded researchers are creating a tool that simulates the best way to detect snow and measure its water content from space.
Airborne observation of Greenland Ice Sheet
6.19.19 - Study Predicts More Long-Term Sea Level Rise from Greenland Ice
Greenland’s melting ice sheet could generate more sea level rise than previously thought if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase and warm the atmosphere at their current rate, according to a new modeling study run on supercomputers at NASA’s Ames Research Center and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Visualization of computational fluid dynamics simulations of the Ignition Overpressure and Sound Suppression water suppression system during the ignition of a solid rocket booster atop NASA's mobile launcher
06.12.19 - Simulations Give NASA Code Green Light for Space Launch System Testing
Proof-of-concept tests of NASA’s Loci/CHEM flow solver on the Pleiades supercomputer validate the solver’s accuracy, clearing the way for tests for the agency’s next-gen Space Launch System’s launch environment.
CFD simulation of Black Hawk rotor
05.23.19 - Hammering Away at the Dynamic Stall Problem to Build Better Rotorcraft
Continuous advances in NASA’s modeling and simulation tools, along with the Electra supercomputer, help rotorcraft design engineers build safer, more efficient aircraft in less time and for less money.
Cross-section of visualization showing differences in oceanic mixed-layer depth
05.21.19 - Impact of Satellite Sea Surface Salinity Observations on ENSO Predictions
According to research run at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS), assimilating satellite sea surface salinity from NASA’s Aquarius and SMAP satellite instruments improves the analyses of the near-surface density and the mixed layer depth.
Aerial image of Tanana Valley, Alaska, boreal forest
05.16.19 - NCCS Systems Empower Boreal Forest Study Using Airborne and Satellite Data
Empowered by NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) high-performance computing resources, NASA Goddard scientists studied the 3D structure of boreal forests using high-resolution airborne and satellite data.
Artist's rendering of a meteor disintegrating as it enters the Earth's atmosphere
05.03.19 – Don’t Panic: Scientists are Practicing for a Killer Asteroid Impact
NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division researcher Lorien Wheeler modeled millions of potential impact scenarios for a tabletop exercise exploring possible damage by a fictional asteroid, at the International Academy of Astronautics’ Planetary Defense Conference April 29–May 3, 2019 in College Park, Maryland.
Satellite image of dust over Africa
05.01.19 - Choking on Saharan Dust
A new analysis supported by the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) suggests that exposure to mineral dust may be a bigger cause of premature death in Africa than previously thought.
Photo of Marie Denison
04.30.19 – NASA Researcher on the Driving Force Behind Aerospace Innovation
Marie Denison, a research scientist in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division, talks about her work in computational physics and the importance of research collaboration. Denison will be a speaker at the Women of Silicon Valley event May 2-3, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Cross-section of plot illustrating the impact of additionally assimilating satellite soil moisture observations
04.29.19 - Assimilation of Satellite Soil Moisture for Improved Atmospheric Reanalyses
Based on experiments spanning the summer of 2013, NASA's Global Modeling and Assimilation Office finds that the use of soil moisture observations in the reanalysis resulted in regional improvements in near-surface atmospheric conditions. The experiments ran at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Photo of Thwaites Glacier
04.25.19 - Antarctica's Effect on Sea Level Rise in Coming Centuries
How will Antarctica's melting ice sheet affect sea level rise hundreds of years in the future? Scientists now have a more accurate model to answer this question and ran it on the NASA Advanced Supercomputng (NAS) Facility's Pleiades supercomputer.
Photo of agriculture crop irrigation system spraying water at sunset.
04.22.19 - NCCS Hosts GISS ModelE Simulations Assessing the Impacts of Irrigation on Climate
Using the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) Discover supercomputer, Washington State University, New York University, and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) researchers ran multi-decade simulations to identify the distinct impacts of irrigation on the Earth's climate.
Simulation of two black holes spiralling together towards merger
04.18.19 - Spacetime Simulations and the Discovery of Gravitational Waves
Simulations run on NASA supercomputers and stunning visualizations by the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) team were key to the research leading to the first-ever gravitational wave detection.
Image of Pluto and Charon
04.10.19 - Scientists Simulate Pluto–Charon Satellite System on NCCS Discover Supercomputer
To determine if Pluto and its largest moon Charon could have more than four smaller moons orbiting them, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and University of Utah astrophysicists ran 275 simulations at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Simulated convective clouds in GEOS model
04.10.19 - A Scale-Aware Representation of Convection in the GEOS Model
Recently updated parameterizations estimating convection and shallow cumulus clouds, along with evolving development of the finite-volume cubed-sphere (FV3) dynamical core, have led to a unique scale-aware capability for the GEOS model. Implementation in the GEOS forecasting system, which runs at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS), is estimated for summer 2019.
Density of Loon balloon observations and other information
03.26.19 - Using Loon Stratospheric Balloon Observations in Global Assimilation
Assimilating three months of wind measurements from experimental super-pressure balloons into the NASA GEOS global data assimilation system (DAS) signficantly improves analyses of tropical winds. The DAS runs at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS).
Section of Galactic center visualization
03.22.19 - Galactic Center Visualization Delivers Star Power
By combining NASA Ames supercomputer simulations with data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, a new immersive, ultra-high-definition visualization provides a fresh perspective on what is happening in and around the center of the Milky Way.
Screenshot of the CREATE-V tool showing air temperature on September 19, 2018
03.19.19 - NCCS Computing Capabilities Enable Calculating a Multi-Reanalysis Ensemble
The NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) Collaborative REAnalysis Technical Environment (CREATE) has collected all of the major modern reanalyses and an ensemble average of key variables in one site.
Visualization of carbon fluxes in North and South America
03.05.19 - Learning and Simulating the Earth’s Water Cycle with NCCS Resources
Using machine learning with the NASA Land Information System (LIS) and NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) supercomputing resources, scientists are extracting more information from satellite observations to better predict the global water cycle and monitor water’s role in Earth’s ecosystems.
Image of crab nebula
02.19.19 – Modular Design Increases Energy Efficiency
NSCW Editor Robert Roe speaks to Bill Thigpen, Advanced Computing Branch Chief for the NAS Division, to get an update on NASA's energy-efficient modular supercomputing approach.
Birds on branch in Amazon rainforest
02.19.19 – What Machine Learning Can Tell Us About Climate Change
A NASA study shines new light on how climate change may affect the Amazon rainforest. Machine learning expert Kamalika Das, at NASA's Ames Research Center, ran her simulations on the Pleiades supercomputer to develop her optimization-based models.
U.S. maps showing visualizations of results from land surface model simulations
02.19.19 - NCCS and NOAA Supercomputers Help Scientists Quantify the Components of Land Water Evaporation
Using NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supercomputers, NASA scientists ran multi-decade land surface model simulations to investigate uncertainties in quantifying the components of terrestrial evaporation (ET)—a key factor in determining how much water is available on land for agriculture.
SC18 logo
02.05.19 - NCCS and NAS Enable ‘Pulsar in a Box’ Simulations
NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) and NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Facility supercomputers enabled groundbreaking simulations of spinning neutron stars—called pulsars—that trace the paths of charged particles in magnetic and electric fields surrounding the stars.


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