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Supercomputing Planet Formation at SDSC

Researchers are using a novel approach to solving the mysteries of planet formation with the help of the Comet supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center on the UC San Diego campus. The modeling enabled scientists at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to implement a new software package, which in turn allowed them to create a simulation of planet formation that provides a new baseline for future studies of this mysterious field. “The problem of planet formation is to start with a huge amount of very small dust that interacts on super-short timescales (seconds or less), and the Comet-enabled simulations finish with the final big collisions between planets that continue for 100 million years or more.”