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From the birth of galaxies to an IMAX movie on the big screen. Leiden partnership wins award from the Royal Astronomical Society

Simulation project EAGLE has won the 2022 Group Achievement Award of the Royal Astronomical Society. EAGLE is a large collection of simulations about the formation of galaxies. The largest simulation contains as many as 6.8 billion particles and took months to calculate on the world's fastest supercomputers.

The winning team

According to the Royal Astronomical Society, the impact of the simulations is not only visible in the many scientific references to the project, but also in its contribution outside academia. For example, EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) was part of the popular Galaxy Makers exhibition in 2016, and results from the project were featured in the IMAX-film Voyage of Time.

'The success of the EAGLE project is not only due to the developers of the simulations,' says Joop Schaye, principal investigator of the project and Professor of Galaxy Formation at Leiden Observatory. ‘The success is largely due to the many researchers who used the simulations and those who used our model for new simulations. The scientists who developed the foundations on which EAGLE is built also played an important role. The EAGLE team wishes to express its gratitude and admiration to all of them.'

The Group Achievement Award of the Royal Astronomical Society is an annual recognition of outstanding achievements by large consortia of academics or consortia of professional amateurs in any branch of astronomy.

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