Images copyright Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology (QT Movie, 83 MB) A star exploding as a supernova explosion at the end of its life. For a few seconds, the dying star shines brighter than a galaxy. Exceprt from "Our Sun: What a Star! (Special Edition)". Credit: Swinburne Astronomy Productions.
Magnification map (JPG)
Magnification map (EPS)

Images like these are used to study properties of supermassive black holes lurking at the centres of very distant quasars. Similar to the way that rippling water in a bath-tub focusses light, the pattern of bright and dark regions shows regions of high and low brightness over a small region of the sky. Graphics processing units allow astronomers to rapidly calculate the gravitational effects of millions of stars on light from quasars that passes through a foreground gravitational lens.

Hydrogen in the local Universe (JPG)
Hydrogen in the local Universe (EPS)

A GPU-powered visualisation of neutral hydrogen in the local Universe created by Swinburne PhD student, Amr Hassan, using 12 Gigabytes of data compiled by Russell Jurek (ATNF). Thanks to GPUs, astronomers now have new, faster, lower-cost ways of viewing the highest resolution datasets, with the hope of making new discoveries about our Universe.

There is a wealth of information in this visualisation, including detections of hydrogen in the Magellanic Clouds (150,000 light years away, red feature on left-hand side), radiation from the Milky Way (extends across the cube), distant galaxies far beyond the Milky Way (short horizontal red and green lines), processing artifacts (long horizontal green and blue lines extending across the cube). The colour scale goes from blue (low) through green to red (high).

askap.jpg (1.2MB)
askap.eps (4.2MB)
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP)
Image courtesy Swinburne Astronomy Productions

Please contact Dr Chris Fluke for permission to use these images.