Obscura Day 2015: Behind the Scenes at the Blue Waters Supercomputer - Atlas Obscura
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Champaign, Illinois

Obscura Day 2015: Behind the Scenes at the Blue Waters Supercomputer

Join us for exclusive access to one of the world's most powerful computing centers.

Blue Waters, built from the latest technologies from Cray, Inc., uses hundreds of thousands of computational cores to achieve peak performance of more than 13 quadrillion calculations per second. If you could multiply two numbers together every second, it would take you millions of years to do what Blue Waters does each second.

These machines are currently used for advanced research in the sciences, including complicated medical modeling.

Blue Waters specs:

  • >1.5 petabytes of memory, enough to display 300 million images at once
  • >25 petabytes of disk storage, enough to store all of print in all of the world’s libraries
  • 500 petabytes of tape storage, enough to store 10 percent of all words ever spoken

On this exclusive tour, we'll see the operating computer modules themselves, learn what they're working on, and we'll explore the infrastructure that supports such massive computing power. 


  • Photography is allowed
  • All ages welcome
  • Free parking is available in lot E-14. (Map above)

If you request a ticket, please commit to attending this event as space is limited. If you have a ticket and can't go, please let us know so we can give the ticket to someone else.

Saturday, May 30, 1PM-3PM
Tickets: FREE

Questions? Contact jeff@atlasobscura.com