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Blog

"The Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory: Cloud-based Mock Galaxy Catalogs" - Bernyk et al. (2016)

Alan Duffy

TAO is an outrageously ambitious project spearheaded by Swinburne's Prof Darren Croton to bridge the gap between observations of our universe and those we simulate (such as the ones I create). Ideally astronomers log onto TAO and select their favourite telescope and strategy for viewing (stare for a long time at a small region, or briefly over a wide path of sky, the former lets you see fainter objects while the latter gives you only the brightest ones). Then you get an output that is identical in format to the one you took with that telescope in reality (including all known issues with signal to noise and interference etc). This makes the comparison between what we predict and observe as close as possible and hence maximise the lessons we can learn from seeing out into the universe.