China’s Tianhe-2 retakes fastest supercomputer crown

BBC News reports: “A China-based supercomputer has leapfrogged rivals to be named the world’s most powerful system.

Tianhe-2, developed by the government-run National University of Defence Technology, topped the latest list of the fastest 500 supercomputers, by a team of international researchers.

They said the news was a “surprise” since the system had not been expected to be ready until 2015.

China last held the top rank between November 2010 and June 2011.

According to the list, the US has the world’s second and third fastest supercomputers, Titan and Sequoia, while Japan’s K computer drops to fourth spot.

The latest version of the twice-yearly list – which is overseen by Hans Meuer, professor of computer science at the University of Mannheim – was published to coincide with the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany.

According to the Linpack benchmark, Tianhe-2 – meaning Milky Way-2 – operates at 33.86 petaflop/sec, the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second.

The benchmark measures real-world performance – but in theory the machine can boost that to a “peak performance” of 54.9 petaflop/sec…” (Revelation 13:1, 7, 8, 11 – 18.)


Trio of ‘super Earths’ discovered in a star’s habitable zone

The Sydney Morning Herald reports: “Three ‘super Earth’ planets have been found orbiting a nearby star at a distance where life in theory could exist, according to a record-breaking tally announced by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

The three are part of a cluster of as many as seven planets that circle Gliese 667C, one of three stars located a relatively close 22 light years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpio, it said.

The planets orbit Gliese 667C in the so-called Goldilocks Zone – a distance from the star at which the temperature is just right for water to exist in liquid form rather than being stripped away by stellar radiation or locked permanently in ice.

‘It’s exciting that we’ve found a nearby star that has so many planets in its habitable zone,’ said University of Washington astronomer Rory Barnes, part of an international team.

The planets are called ‘super Earths’ because they are relatively small compared to the giants that comprise most of the exoplanets, which lie beyond our Solar System, spotted since 1995.

It is the first time that so many ‘super Earths’ have been netted in one scientific haul, and shows the value of seeking out low-mass, Sun-like stars that appear to generate these promising worlds, the astronomers said…” (Luke 21:25 – 28; 31, and 32: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh…So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.”