Researchers use AI to analyse cosmic explosions

AI-generated image of a white dwarf before exploding as a supernovaImage source, Mark Magee
Image caption,

An AI-generated image of a white dwarf before it explodes

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New research is being carried out using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse cosmic explosions.

A type of AI known as machine learning will be used to make simulations of star explosions called supernovae, that release elements such as calcium and iron back into the universe.

The research by the University of Warwick aims to help astronomers understand more about why and how supernovae take place.

Lead author of the research Dr Mark Magee said while one model currently took up to 90 minutes to create, AI would enable thousands of supernovae models to be generated in less than a second.

AI would also make research more accurate, helping to establish what models match real-life explosions, the university said.

It added advancements in machine learning had made the research possible with future studies including a greater variety of explosions and supernovae.

"Machine learning approaches like this enable studies of larger numbers of supernovae, in greater detail, and with more consistency than previous approaches," Dr Thomas Killestein said.

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