Holland Computing Center aids gravitational wave discovery

Holland Computing Center aids gravitational wave discovery

Calendar Icon Nov 10, 2017      Person Bust Icon By Victoria Grdina     RSS Feed RSS

Supercomputers stand at the ready in Nebraska's Schorr Center, which is the home to the Holland Computing Center. (Craig Chandler / University Communication)
Supercomputers stand at the ready in Nebraska's Schorr Center, which is the home to the Holland Computing Center. (Craig Chandler / University Communication)

The expertise and resources at Nebraska’s Holland Computing Center helped researchers around the world study the collision of two neutron stars.

Data of the astronomical milestone was collected through both gravitational waves and the visual spectrum. The event, detected by the LIGO-Virgo Scientific Collaboration and a number of telescopes, heralded the beginning of the multiple-messenger astronomy era — which is based on coordinated observation and interpretation of electromagnetic radiation, gravitational waves, neutrinos and cosmic rays.

“This is like going from a silent movie to suddenly having sound and color,” said Brian Bockelman, research assistant professor in computer science and engineering. “There were a lot of astronomical questions wrapped up in this event.”