Astrohubs for data analysis, fusion, sharing, exploration, modeling.

Astrohub supports research in different ARC areas. Astrohub is used by local ARC groups, but its greatest strength is to enable distributed teams to collaborate seamlessly on data generation, analysis, simulation, fusion. This section describes some of the research and teams supported by Astrohub.


The PPMstar hub provides access to the analysis of large-scale 3-dimensional hdyrodynamic simulations of stellar convection, such as the largest to-date simulations of core-convection in a massive star that was performed by UVic's Computational Stellar Astrophysics group lead by Falk Herwig in collaboration with Paul Woodward and his team at the Laboratory of Computational Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota on the new Compute Canada supercomputer Niagara. Movies and images of this ground-breaking simulations are available, but the PPMstar hub allows researchers around the world to investigate these data sets themselves and perform their own analysis.

The following projects and researchers are presently using the PPMstar hub in collaboration with ARC members:

  • Development of high-performance 3D hydrodynamics simulations Code development, collaborative exploration of science runs. Paul Woodward and three students. University of Minnesota, USA.
  • Stellar asteroseismology. Conny Aerts and her group, 2 PDFs and one student. KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Stellar hydrodynamics of oxygen shell convection in massive stars. Robert Andrassy, PDF. Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Germany.
  • Visualisation development. Alex Razoumov, staff member. WestGrid, Canada.

The PPMstar hub also serves the complete analysis workflow of selected papers of the PPMstar collaboration serving the goal of scientific reproducibility. Researchers can access PPMstar hub and check and reproduce the analysis of the following papers:


The international NuGrid collaboration combines 50 researchers in 21 active institutions in 8 countries. The scientific goal is to develop simulation codes for simulations of the formation of the elements in stars and stellar explosions, and to use these codes to construct comprehensive data sets that are used to interpret and understand observations of stars.

Projects supported on NuGrid Hub, in collaboration with ARC members:

  • OZoNE - Nucleosynthesis simulations for a wide range of nuclear astrophysics environments
    • University of Hull, UK: Marco Pignatari, Richard Stancliffe
    • Observatory Torino, INAF, Italy: Claudia Travaglio
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, USA: Sam Jones
    • Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chine: Suqing Hou
    • UPC-Barcelona, Spain: Adria Casanovas-Hoste
    • CSIC-Univeristy of Valencia, Spain: Cesar Domingo-Pardo
  • Galactic Chemical Evolution
    • Konkoly Observatory, Hungary: Benoit Cote
  • Nucleosynthesis in the first stars
    • University of Edinburgh, UK: Claudia Lederer, Sam Lloyd, Umberto Battino

Computational Stellar Astrophysics

The CSA hub is used by the Computational Stellar Astrophysics group in the Astronomy Research Centre.

CSA hub supports five present group members and four former post-doctoral researchers of the CSA group who are still collaborating with us.


The NewEarth Hub supports exo-planet research in the Astronomy Research Centre.


Astrohub is an implementation of the Cyberhubs: Virtual Research Environments for Astronomy system developed by a team lead by Falk Herwig in the Astronomy Research Centre. Cyberhubs combines Docker virtualization with the latest JupyterHub notebook technology, and incorporates third-party authentication. Cyberhubs allow multiple users to access the same virtual research environment composed of a combination of storage, processing capacity and dedicated software packages specific to the particular research goals.

Astrohub adds to the multiuser capability of cyberhubs a multihub capability, meaning that multiple hubs can be served on the same server. Astrohub is presently running on a 16-core, 120GB VM in the Compute Canada Arbutus Cloud hosted by Research Computing Systems at the University of Victoria.


This Astrohub implementation and the latest version of cyberhubs has been developed, implement and is operated by

  • Falk Herwig (ARC, team leader, requirements, systems design, implementation)
  • Belaid Moa (RCS, technical design and proto-typing)
  • Stephenson Yang (ARC, development, implementation, maintenance & operation)
  • Adam Paul (ARC, Coop student, html programming)

Deployments and use

Astrohub is used by the UVic Computational Stellar Astrophysics group, the NuGrid collaboration and members of the CHeTEC , JINA-CEE and IReNA communities. As of November 2020 171 different users have logged on to Astrohub. The platform has hosted the following schools and events:


An earlier version of cyberhubs was developed as part of the CANFAR project WENDI, funded by Canarie, UVic and NSERC. Over the years Cyberhubs has been supported by funds from NSERC, CFI via Compute Canada, UVic, EcoCanada. The PPMstar hub and specifically the advanced data storage, compression and access methods required to make large 3D hydrdynamic simulations accessible in this platform have been developed in collaboration with Paul Woodward and his team at the University of Minnesota, supported through an NSF CDS&E grant. Aspects and capabilities related to CSA's nuclear astrophysics research (WENDI) have been developed with support from NSF's Physics Frontier Center Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics. If you use Astrohub for anything significant please consider providing acknowledgement.
Example long acknowledgement: Lab sessions are conducted on the Astrohub online virtual research environment ( developed and operated by the Computational Stellar Astrophysics group ( at the University of Victoria and hosted on the Computed Canada Arbutus Cloud at the University of Victoria.
Example short acknowledgement: This research has used the Astrohub online virtual research environment (