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Rosseland Centre of Solar Physics got access on LUMI to study the Sun

Rosseland Centre of Solar Physics (RoCS) got 167 million CPU hours on the LUMI supercomputer to study the Sun.

The EuroHPC extreme scale access application titled Global MHD simulation of the Solar convective region has received full funding and resources, marking a significant milestone in solar physics research. The one year of CPU (Central Processing Unit) processing time goes from mid-May 2023 to mid-May 2024.

The project, led by Andrius Popovas and a team of scientists from the Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics, aims to conduct global magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of the entire Solar convection zone, providing crucial insights into the complex dynamics of our closest star.

The proposal, which secured 100% of the requested resources, has been awarded an impressive 167 million CPU hours and 54720 terabyte-hours of storage on the cutting-edge LUMI supercomputer.

A superpower to understand the Sun

LUMI is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, featuring a massive processing capacity and storage capabilities that far exceed those of typical machines.

To put it into perspective, running the simulations on an average computer would take several thousand years, while the resources granted on LUMI will allow the team to complete the project in a fraction of the time.

– We are thrilled to have received full support for our research proposal, says Andrius Popovas, lead researcher of the project. – The allocation of resources on the LUMI supercomputer will empower us to bridge the gap between internal and surface solar physics, allowing us to develop a holistic understanding of the Sun’s complex plasma dynamics.

Specific entropy and radial velocity 4.5 Mm below the surface in the proof of the concept (Pilot) simulation of the Sun. Adapted from Popovas et al.

Image: Specific entropy and radial velocity 4.5 Mm below the surface in the proof of the concept (Pilot) simulation of the Sun. Adapted from Popovas et al.

Using a speedy, flexible code

The project will utilize the DISPATCH code framework, renowned for its speed and flexibility, enabling the team to cover an unprecedented range of scales and connect the magnetic dynamo to the photosphere of the Sun.

This simulation, a first-of-its-kind endeavor, holds the potential to unlock vital insights into the “convective conundrum,” spot-dynamo paradox, flux emergence, and other fundamental phenomena occurring within the Sun.

To achieve their research goals, the team will continue the simulations from their pilot LUMI-C run, which already showcased promising results with a resolution of 500 kilometers near the top boundary (as described in Popovas et al., 2022). As the simulation progresses, the resolution will be increased to an impressive 62.5 kilometers using static mesh refinement. Furthermore, the simulations will extend slightly beyond the photosphere, providing valuable data on the Sun’s surface.

Broadening the perspective

– The integration of the photosphere into our simulations is a significant advancement, explains Andrius Popovas. – Once the project concludes, a series of simulation snapshots will be made public, allowing for further studies and advancements in helioseismology and the exploration of the upper solar atmosphere.

The groundbreaking research conducted with the help of this project promises to revolutionize our understanding of the Sun and its various phenomena.

The Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics and its team of dedicated researchers express their gratitude to the EuroHPC program for their support and acknowledgment of the project’s scientific significance. With the allocated resources and the cutting-edge capabilities of the LUMI supercomputer, the collaboration will push the boundaries of solar physics research to new frontiers.

– It is a huge allocation to do something groundbreaking and exciting, says Mats Carlsson, director of RoCS. – Andrius received what he applied for and now the hard work has started!

Image of Andrius Popovas

Image: Research software engineer Andrius Popovas at RoCS: – I am very happy to get 100% of what we asked for with our proposal. Photo: University of Oslo

European task force

The European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) is pooling European resources to develop top-of-the-range exascale supercomputers for processing big data, based on competitive European technology. The supercomputer is hosted by the LUMI consortium (Large Unified Modern Infrastructure) which includes Finland, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

This article was originally published on the RoCS website.

Author: Eyrun Thune, Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics, University of Oslo, Norway