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Theoretical Astrophysics

Understanding the cosmos involves both observation and theory. Observation provides real-world data about how stars, galaxies, and other objects in space behave. Theory connects that data together into a full understanding, and makes predictions about phenomena we haven’t observed yet. Theoretical astrophysics includes mathematical models for astronomical systems, along with templates to fit to new results when they arise.

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Simulation using the Illustris program of the dark matter governing the distribution of galaxies. Such simulations connect astronomical observations of galaxies to the theory describing how the universe evolves.

Credit: Illustris Collaboration