SC21: Visualization of a Neutron Star Binary Merger and Subsequent Creation of a Kilonova

SC21 Scientific Visualization & Data Analytics Showcase

Visualization of a Neutron Star Binary Merger and Subsequent Creation of a Kilonova

Where does gold come from? Previously, physicists believed that the heaviest atoms including elements like lead, gold and Uranium were formed in supernovae. Recent research has suggested that this is not the case. Instead, merging neutron stars provide conditions for the rapid neutron capture process that synthesizes heavy elements. In this video, we show how scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) study neutron star mergers and the subsequent radioactive afterglow—a kilonova. This study is conducted via large-scale numerical simulations using various LANL developed codes. We give a brief overview on heavy element formation, introduce neutron star mergers and kilonovae, showcasing LANL codes used in pursuit of the study, and visualize simulation results. In particular, we produce a realistic image of a kilonova ejecta as it would appear for a nearby observer, which is the first time such a visualization is performed.

Alexandra Stewart (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) and Li-Ta Lo, Oleg Korobkin, Irina Sagert, Julien Loiseau, Hyun Lim, Mark Alexander Kaltenborn, Christopher Michael Mauney, and Jonah Maxwell Miller (Los Alamos National Laboratory)



The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

November 14–19, 2021
America’s Center, St. Louis, MO

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