Efficient Analysis of Simulations of the Sun’s Magnetic Field

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Christopher William Scarborough and Juan Martínez-Sykora, LMSAL, San Francisco, CA, United States
Dynamics in the solar atmosphere, including solar flares, coronal mass ejections, micro-flares and different types of jets, are powered by the evolution of the sun’s intense magnetic field. 3D Radiative Magnetohydrodnamics (MHD) computer simulations have furthered our understanding of the processes involved: When non aligned magnetic field lines reconnect, the alteration of the magnetic topology causes stored magnetic energy to be converted into thermal and kinetic energy. Detailed analysis of this evolution entails tracing magnetic field lines, an operation which is not time-efficient on a single processor. By utilizing a graphics card (GPU) to trace lines in parallel, conducting such analysis is made feasible. We applied our GPU implementation to the most advanced 3D Radiative-MHD simulations (Bifrost, Gudicksen et al. 2011) of the solar atmosphere in order to better understand the evolution of the modeled field lines.