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Cover of nature journal The Millennium Simulation
The largest N-body simulation ever carried out containing over 10 billion particles, which is helping Virgo scientists further understand the development of the universe Click here to read more

What is the Virgo Consortium?
The Virgo Consortium for Cosmological Supercomputer Simulations was founded in 1994 in response to the UK's High Performance Computing Initiative. Virgo developed rapidly into the international collaboration that it is today. The Virgo Consortium has a core membership of about a dozen scientists in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Canada the USA and Japan. The largest nodes are the Institute for Computational Cosmology in Durham, UK and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany. Other nodes exist at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) in Germany, at Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Sussex in the UK, Leiden in the Netherlands, McMaster and Queen's Universities in Canada, Pittsburgh and John's Hopkins Universities in the USA and Nagoya University in Japan. At any given time, an additional 20-25 scientists, mostly PhD students and postdocs, are directly involved in aspects of the Virgo programme.

Science goals:
The science goals of Virgo are to carry out state-of-the-art cosmological simulations. The research areas include the large-scale distribution of dark matter, the formation of dark matter haloes, the formation and evolution of galaxies and clusters, the physics of the intergalactic medium and the properties of the intracluster gas.

Virgo's current resources:
Virgo has access to world class supercomputing resources in the UK and Germany, including the dedicated "Cosmology Machine" at Durham, which was refreshed at the beginning of 2011 and now has more than 3000 cores, 14 Tb of memory and 600 Tb of disc storage. To date the Virgo consortium's largest calculations have used supercomputers in Germany at the RZG and LRZ at Garching and most recently at the FZ at Juelich.

THE VIRGO CONSORTIUM Last updated January 07 2015 09:36:28. Designed by Stephen Wilkins, Nigel Metcalfe and Diego Hartasanchez