A Nuclear Device On an Asteroid

LANL scientists use the Cielo supercomputer to model effects of nuclear energy source on Earth-threatening asteroid.

The newest supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Cielo, is currently working on classified nuclear weapons physics problems. However, it is sometimes used to do fascinating unclassified science when a computer model is so large that it can't be run on a smaller platform.

One of the unclassified models that ran recently on Cielo -- a 1.35 petaflop/s machine built by Cray -- was a model by Robert Weaver of Theoretical Design Applications Physics that looked at how 1 megaton nuclear energy source might effect the granular asteriod Itokawa as a way to prevent a potential asteriod impact with Earth.

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