Gaia mission’s EDR3 available on Cosmohub

The CosmoHub service at PIC now provides the Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) of the Gaia mission. The early access is possible because PIC recently became one of the affiliated sites of Gaia.

Gaia is an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy.

In its now available third data release, the object catalog features 1.8 billion objects with unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements.

You can access the data as part of the public catalogs distributed through CosmoHub.

PIC finished the contribution to Euclid’s GSIR

Euclid’s Ground Segment Implementation Review is an official ESA’s review of the status of the Ground Segment of the project, including the SGS (Science Ground Segment) to which PIC belongs. 

PIC contributed to the data package for the Data Processing Panel, which shall assess the status of the Processing Functions (PF) as well as the ability of the SGS to produce and distribute Q1 data products. In order to demonstrate this, the SGS simulated and processed the equivalent to a full day of observation (~10 square degrees). PIC played a key role in this effort, providing the input catalogs, running part of the simulations and producing the documentation relative to the Simulations PF.

The GSIR production (SWF1 & 2 & 3) laid the groundwork for the much more ambitious Scientific Challenge 8 Main Area production, taking place in mid 2021, which will cover ~600 square degrees. Image by H. Aussel.

Dark Energy Survey Data Release 2

The object catalog of the Data Release 2 (DR2) of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) has been ingested into the CosmoHub service. DES is based on optical/near-infrared imaging by the Dark Energy Camera mounted on the 4-m Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. DR2 consists of single-epoch and coadded images, a source catalog derived from coadded images and associated data products assembled from 6 years of DES science operation. The release includes data from the 5000 deg2 wide-area survey covering the southern Galactic cap in 5 broad photometric bands.

The now available catalog consists of 691,483,608 objects with about 480 parameters. The total size of the catalog is ~3 TiB. The DES DR2 catalog is available for exploration and download at

PIC puts computing capacity at the service of the COVID-19 research

PIC is putting its computing capacity at the service of the COVID-19 research.

PIC has been running clients of the Folding@Home collaborative computational project in part of its GPU nodes since April 1st. These nodes are normally used by IFAE researchers to analyze astrophysics or particle physics data and now they have been reconfigured to simulate protein folding as part of the Folding@Home worldwide network. 

The Folding@Home project uses computer simulations to understand how proteins fold into 3D shapes to perform various functions. Viruses have proteins that they use to suppress our immune systems and reproduce themselves. To help tackle coronavirus, the simulations aim to understand how these viral proteins work to help design therapeutics to stop them.

In the coming days, the amount of resources at PIC devoted to the Folding@Home effort are expected to grow substantially, as the LHC experiments at CERN roll out a coordinated effort to dedicate part of the world-wide LHC data processing infrastructure to COVID-19 research boosting Folding@Home computing capacity. As one of the nodes in the LHC infrastructure, PIC will participate in this initiative. The results of the simulations will be published in the open repository Zenodo, run by CERN.

The Folding@Home project has got a lot of attention in the last weeks and thousands of volunteer computing resources are joining this common effort. More than one million computers are now part of the system, adding up to an estimated computing capacity of 1.5 exaflops, ten times higher than that of the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

On the other hand, IFAE is preparing new projects to use innovative technologies developed for research in particle physics in COVID-19 research, such as the detection of virus biomarkers in blood using single-photon detectors. Other projects in preparation will use the PIC calculation capacity for epidemiological studies and deep learning.


KiDS, Legacy Surveys DR8, COSMOS and more, now available in CosmoHub

A few days ago, we celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the rebirth of CosmoHub on its Big Data platform. As you might know, CosmoHub started as a tool for the distribution of PAU catalogs. Because of the limited data volume this task was achieved by an instance of a SQL relational database capable of handling datasets in the low Terabyte range. Since its beginning, CosmoHub has proven to be very useful for other surveys. The immense increase in data, that will soon reach a few 100s of Terabytes, finally led to the migration to Hadoop. The migration entailed a massive boost in performance and many new features of which you can take advantage today. 

In a nutshell, in its most recent incarnation CosmoHub ( is a web platform for the interactive exploration and distribution of massive cosmological datasets. It serves dozens of catalogs to hundreds of users. Further, it has become the reference access point to the PAU catalogs and the synthetic galaxy catalogs derived off the Euclid Flagship dark matter simulations.

We wanted to celebrate this amazing achievement with all the CosmoHub supporters, and what better way of doing this than making available the largest set of public catalogs since our launch.

Since today, there are 9 new public catalogs available:

  • DEEP2 redshift catalog DR4: The survey targeted ~50,000 distant galaxies in the redshift range 0 < z < 1.4, utilizing the DEIMOS spectroscopic on the Keck II telescope.
  • ZEST: Zurich Structure & Morphology Catalog from a COSMOS sample
  • KiDS DR4: provides reprocessed pixel and catalog data products for a roughly 1000 square degrees of the sky.
  • COSMOS2015: contains precise photometric redshifts and stellar masses for more than half a million objects over the 2deg2 COSMOS field.
  • DESI Legacy Survey DR8: 14,000 square degrees of extragalactic sky visible from the northern hemisphere in three optical bands (g,r,z) and four infrared bands.
  • CANDELS Bulge-disk decompositions: A catalog of polychromatic bulge-disk decompositions of ~17.600 galaxies in CANDELS.
  • DES Y1A1 gold catalog: ~137 million objects detected in co-added images covering ~1800 deg 2 in the DES grizY filters.
  • DES Y1A1 morphology catalog: structural and morphological catalogue for 45 million objects selected from the first year data of the Dark Energy Survey (DES).
  • VIPERS (photometry and spectroscopy): second and final data release (PDR-2) of the VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey (VIPERS).

As always, we are more than happy to answer all of your questions and requests, just hit us up at

The CosmoHub Team

Open Market Consultation event in Barcelona

ARCHIVER – Archiving and Preservation for Research Environments – will introduce significant improvements in the area of archiving and digital preservation services, supporting the IT requirements of European scientists and providing end-to-end archival and preservation services, cost-effective for data generated in the petabyte range with high, sustained ingest rates, in the context of scientific research projects.

The project is managed by a consortium of procurer research organisations (CERN, DESY, EMBL-EBI and PIC) and experts (Addestino and Trust-IT) and receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

This Open Market Consultation (OMC) event is organised by PIC with the support of  the Catalonia Trade & Investment Agency (ACCIÓ) and Europe Entreprise Network (EEN).

The event is targeted to potential bidders and open to end-users.

During this event, companies will assess the innovation potential to address the Buyers Group use-cases. The event will be moderated by a partner of the ARCHIVER consortium (Addestino) using a planning poker technique in order to estimate effort, value and risk.

The results obtained on the Open Market Consultation will serve as a base of the Tender specifications to be published in October 2019.

Helix Nebula the Science Cloud Pilot Phase final event

The goal of this public webcast session is to promote the results achieved with the HNSciCloud pilot platform services.
The webinar will introduce the services developed by HNSciCloud Contractors, RHEA, T-Systems and Cyfronet, including their commercialisation plans.
The results of a detailed Total Cost of Ownership study carried out on a few HNSciCloud selected scientific use cases will also be presented. Lightning presentations by the buyers group will show how they have deployed their use-cases and the results achieved.
The event will also provide the opportunity to introduce OCRE and ARCHIVER initiatives, together with the roadmap for the implementation of a full-scale European Open Science Cloud.
The webinar is free, registration is needed at the following link:

Launch of the Helix Nebula Science Cloud Pilot Phase

In November 2016, 4 Consortia won the HNSciCloud Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) tender for the establishment of a European hybrid cloud platform to support the deployment of high-performance computing and big-data capabilities for scientific research.

After the submission of their designs, 3 out of the 4 consortia were selected to build the prototypes.

On the 6th of February 2018 the consortia that will move from the Prototype to the Pilot Phase of the HNSciCloud PCP will be announced.

If you are a potential user of the hybrid cloud platform or you are simply interested in understanding more about the pilots that will be deployed, mark the date in your agenda and  follow the live webcast of the event directly from our website


14:00 – Pilot phase Award Ceremony – INFN Introduction and welcome

14:10 – Innovation Procurement and the Open Science Cloud as drivers of Europe’s Digital Single Market – Dr. Dirk Van Rooy (DG CNECT)

14:20 –  Overview of HNSciCloud – CERN

14:35 – Pilot phase Award Ceremony – Contractor 1

14:55 – Pilot phase Award Ceremony – Contractor 2

15:15 – HNSciCloud pilot phase – INFN

15:30 – EOSC in practice – Silvana Muscella (chair EOSC HLEG)

15:45 – Early adopter group and closing of webinar- CERN


If you want more information about the event please do not hesitate to contact us at