UCAR Communications


staff notes monthly

April 2004

Visualization of a plume

This SCD visualization lab image of a thermal starting plume illustrates a relatively simple simulation within the complicated dynamics of the Sun. In the Sun’s outer layers, gas cools rapidly. The temperature change creates many down-flowing, cold plumes. (Imagine the opposite of the warm, upward plumes you see from chimneys on cold days). This image of two different data fields shows a cold plume descending into a region of increasing density, as it would into the interior of the Sun. “The aim is to understand how stable these plumes are in order to estimate how deeply they penetrate into the solar interior after being generated in the upper surface layers,” explains Mark Rast (HAO).
It took Joey Mendoza (SCD) about two months to create a full animation of more than 400 images from this simulation to illustrate Mark’s research. He converted four terabytes of data from a raw form into a more interactive format before making the animation. In the new format the data can be analyzed and visualized at multiple resolutions. “The one thing really special about it was that there were so much data involved,” Joey said. “After I converted the data, I just did standard things like make color maps and scales.”
This work is part of an ongoing effort by John Clyne (SCD) to enable interactive data analysis and visualization of very large data sets.

•Nicole Gordon

Also in this issue...

Tapping the Earth Simulator

Recalling NCAR's early days

NCAR sunspot model

UCAR childcare center

Random Profile: Julie Harris

Delphi Question: Spring Fling menu

Bike path nears approval

Patent awards

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