High-throughput computing as an enabler of black hole science

On June 25, 2021, Arizona astrophysicist Feryal Ozel posted an item on Twitter that must have fired up scientific imaginations. She noted that the Open Science Pool (OSPool) just set a single-day record of capacity delivered — churning through more than 1.1 million core hours. Her team’s project was leading the surge.

“Can you tell something is cooking?” she asked cheekily.

Almost a year later, the secret is out. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Project, a collaboration of more than 300 astronomers around the world, announced on May 12 it had produced an image of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, only the second image of its kind in history.

EHT made that initial history in 2019 when it shared a dramatic image of a black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy, 55 million light-years from Earth, thereby taking black holes from a theoretical concept to an observable phenomenon.

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