Take a close look at this image and you will see a whole host of astronomical phenomena on display, including filaments, voids, and various types of galaxies. The image was created using the Visual Interface for the Virtual Observatory (VisIVO), which is a suite of open-source software tools designed for generating customized, multi-dimensional images from large-scale astrophysical data. It can assimilate a vast amount of data from multiple sources, such as images taken from many specialist telescopes using different parameters and techniques, and combine them into accurate 3D visualizations. The massive computing power required to do this comes from the Cometa Consortium grid, which is distributed across seven sites in Sicily, Italy, and provides access to 250 CPUs and two terabytes of storage.
- Anna Slater