Northern Light
Northern Light
If all naturally occuring heavenly phenomena, few come close to a night with a magnificent northern lights display. Flickering curtains of dancing light against the dark skies, northern lights is certainly one of the most spectacular of nature’s phenomena. The left picture shows a herd of stars makes tracks across northern lights in a time exposure taken when the temperature reached minus 58° F. [minus 50° C.].” Northern lights is the name of a light phenomenon often seen in the northern regions. The lights have been around since Earth formed an atmosphere -the dinosaurs saw it, early humans saw it and our descendants will se it. The scientific name for the phenomenon is “Aurora Borealis”, aurora for short. Auroras are caused by the interaction of energetic particles (electrons and protons) of the solar wind with atoms of the upper atmosphere. Such interaction is confined for the most part to high latitudes in oval-shaped zones that surround Earth’s magnetic poles and maintain a more or less fixed orientation with respect to the Sun. During periods of low solar activity, the auroral zones shift poleward. During periods of intense solar activity, auroras occasionally extend to the middle latitudes; for example, the aurora borealis has been seen as far south as 40° latitude in the United States. Auroral emissions typically occur at altitudes of about 100 km (60 miles); however, they may occur anywhere between 80 and 250 km (about 50 to 155 miles) above Earth’s surface.

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Some friends of mine own some very slow computers inherited from the stone age. In Breda and Waalwijk they always complain of a bad performance of this WebLog. A little search on the web deliverd a list of the 20 fast computers at this moment. So people in the south take a look at the list below and buy one of these computers :

Rank Site
Country/Year
Computer / Processors
Manufacturer
Rmax
Rpeak
1 IBM/DOE
United States/2004
BlueGene/L beta-System
BlueGene/L DD2 beta-System (0.7 GHz PowerPC 440) / 32768
IBM
70720
91750
2 NASA/Ames Research Center/NAS
United States/2004
Columbia
SGI Altix 1.5 GHz, Voltaire Infiniband / 10160
SGI
51870
60960
3 The Earth Simulator Center
Japan/2002
Earth-Simulator / 5120
NEC
35860
40960
4 Barcelona Supercomputer Center
Spain/2004
MareNostrum
eServer BladeCenter JS20 (PowerPC970 2.2 GHz), Myrinet / 3564
IBM
20530
31363
5 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
United States/2004
Thunder
Intel Itanium2 Tiger4 1.4GHz – Quadrics / 4096
California Digital Corporation
19940
22938
6 Los Alamos National Laboratory
United States/2002
ASCI Q
ASCI Q – AlphaServer SC45, 1.25 GHz / 8192
HP
13880
20480
7 Virginia Tech
United States/2004
System X
1100 Dual 2.3 GHz Apple XServe/Mellanox Infiniband 4X/Cisco GigE / 2200
Self-made
12250
20240
8 IBM – Rochester
United States/2004
BlueGene/L DD1 Prototype (0.5GHz PowerPC 440 w/Custom) / 8192
IBM/ LLNL
11680
16384
9 Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO)
United States/2004
eServer pSeries 655 (1.7 GHz Power4+) / 2944
IBM
10310
20019.2
10 NCSA
United States/2003
Tungsten
PowerEdge 1750, P4 Xeon 3.06 GHz, Myrinet / 2500
Dell
9819
15300
11 ECMWF
United Kingdom/2004
eServer pSeries 690 (1.9 GHz Power4+) / 2176
IBM
9241
16538
12 ECMWF
United Kingdom/2004
eServer pSeries 690 (1.9 GHz Power4+) / 2176
IBM
9241
16538
13 US Army Research Laboratory (ARL)
United States/2004
John Von Neumann
LNX Cluster, Xeon 3.4 GHz, Myrinet / 2048
Linux Networx
8770
13926
14 Institute of Physical and Chemical Res. (RIKEN)
Japan/2004
RIKEN Super Combined Cluster / 2048
Fujitsu
8728
12534
15 IBM – Thomas Watson Research Center
United States/2004
BlueGene/L DD2 Prototype (0.7 GHz PowerPC 440) / 4096
IBM/ LLNL
8655
11469
16 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
United States/2003
Mpp2
Integrity rx2600 Itanium2 1.5 GHz, Quadrics / 1936
HP
8633
11616
17 Shanghai Supercomputer Center
China/2004
Dawning 4000A, Opteron 2.2 GHz, Myrinet / 2560
Dawning
8061
11264
18 Los Alamos National Laboratory
United States/2003
Lightning
Opteron 2 GHz, Myrinet / 2816
Linux Networx
8051
11264
19 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
United States/2002
MCR Linux Cluster Xeon 2.4 GHz – Quadrics / 2304
Linux Networx/Quadrics
7634
11060
20 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
United States/2000
ASCI White, SP Power3 375 MHz / 8192
IBM
7304
12288



Supercomputer
Supercomputer
Supercomputer
Supercomputer

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