AoT Leiden: Simulating the Universe!

AoT Leiden
AoT Leiden

This month's Astronomy on Tap Leiden brings a night of astronomy with two fantastic talks from Matthieu Schaller and Anna de Graaff who will tell us all about simulating the Universe using powerful computers. As always, there will be fun games where you could win cool science prizes! The event will take place on Monday 30 May at Grand Café de Burcht (Burgsteeg 14, Leiden) at 20:00 CEST.

Matthieu Schaller: Computer simulations in astronomy
In astronomy, as well as in most sciences, computer simulations have become a key tool for the researchers. However, unlike most scientists, astronomers cannot go to their laboratory and perform experiments on the objects they study. This means that to test theories and understand what they see in their telescopes, they need another tool. By creating virtual twins of stars, planets, galaxies, or of the entire universe, astronomers can perform all the experiments they want and play with the laws of physics to see what happens when they get tweaked. In this talk, Matthieu will show some of this simulation work that involves using some of the most powerful computers on earth.

Anna de Graaff: Awkward teens: uncovering the growth of Milky Way galaxies
Anna is a final-year PhD student at Leiden Observatory. Her work focuses on the study of both nearby and very distant galaxies, to understand how galaxies like our own Milky Way formed, and why other galaxies end up looking completely different. To do so, she uses big computer simulations and some of the most powerful telescopes on Earth and in space. In this talk, she will discuss how these tools are necessary to shed light on the early growth and evolution of galaxies. In particular, she will show how the James Webb Space Telescope is on the verge of delivering very exciting results on very distant galaxies.

Logistical information
We start at 20:00 sharp, so please arrive earlier to enter the bar, save a seat, and grab a drink. We are not planning to stream the event live, but will be uploading a recording of the talks on our YouTube channel after the event. Register at For more information check out