Image for the 5th Night of astronomy at the IAP Credit: NewHorizon Simulation



On June 17, 2023, starting at 7:30 p.m. and lasting until the middle of the night, the Institut d’astrophysique de Paris (IAP) is organizing its fifth “Astronomy Night”. The 2023 edition is related to the annual international colloquium of the IAP (39th edition), and will highlight numerical modelling of the Universe and its contribution to our theoretical understanding of various astrophysical phenomena.

Astrophysical objects, stars, interstellar gas, galaxies and large cosmological structures represent complex systems, involving different physical processes, such as gravitational collapse, turbulence, shocks, cosmological expansion, that interact with each other. This complexity can be understood through numerical simulations of these objects by computer modelling of the different physical processes at play these systems. By simulating digital universes, these numerical models, which sometimes use thousands of computers computing in parallel, allow astrophysicists to test different theoretical models by comparing the results of these simulations with observations of the real Universe. During this new astronomy night, how these digital laboratories of our Universe are implemented will be presented and illustrated with concrete examples. Some of the most fascinating phenomena of our Universe can be revealed by these simulations. The goal of the fifth “Night of Astronomy” is to show the public the research activities in this field, and to offer everyone the opportunity to to participate in these questions.

This new “Night of Astronomy” at the Institut d’astrophysique de Paris will allow one to meet young and passionate researchers who bring contemporary science to life. The main event of the night is a marathon of conferences taking place in the large amphitheatre of the laboratory (120 places), and retransmitted in an additional room (40 places). This marathon will be hosted by Mathieu Grousson (PhD in physics and science journalist), and Anna Niemiec (PhD in astrophysics and cosmology, science populariser), as well as by cartoonists from the Café des sciences.

Thanks to the live broadcast of the evening on YouTube and its “chat”, everyone will be able to interact with the speakers within the institute or via the internet, and to satisfy their curiosity about the Universe and the way scientists model it with computers. Games and animations will be proposed by the young researchers of the institute, who may be questioned about their activities and career during “flash meetings”. A food truck will allow one to eat in the courtyard.

Poster “Astronomy night” 2022Photos: White night of astronomy 2019.

Broadcast website:  https://youtube.com/live/-HU8nXg0nGY


Access is free, subject to availability.
All talks and conferences are given in French.

Opening by François Bouchet (director of the IAP) and Mathieu Grousson (science journalist)20:00
Conference by Yohan Dubois (researcher at the IAP)20:05“Numerical models of galaxy formation”
Conference by Clotilde Laigle (researcher at the IAP) 20:50“A synthetic Universe to the rescue to understand our own, in the era of JWST and Euclid”
Interview with Pierre Boldrini (postdoctoral fellow at the IAP)21:30
Conference by Jean-Baptiste Fouvry (researcher at the IAP)21:45“Preparing an eternal simulation”
Interview with Mathieu Roule (PhD student at the IAP)22:25
Conference by Patrick Hennebelle (researcher at the CEA Saclay/IRFU/DAp)22:40“Understanding the formation of stars and planets with our computers”
Interview with Ugo Lebreuilly (postdoctoral fellow at CEA Saclay/IRFU/DAp)23:20
Conference by François Lanusse (researcher at the CEA Saclay/IRFU/DAp) 23:35“How do machines learn about the Universe?”
Interview with Emma Ayçoberry (PhD student at the IAP)00:20
Conference by Paola Di Matteo (researcher at the Observatoire de Paris) 00:35“Simulate the Milky Way”
Conclusion of the evening by Karim Benabed (researcher at the IAP)01:15

In addition

    puce Sessions proposed by the PhD students:
    1. Quiz with small prizes
    2. Treasure hunt in the laboratory
    puce Meeting and interaction spaces with laboratory scientists:
    1. Exhibition presenting current topics in astrophysics and cosmology
    2. Virtual reality headset visualisations of simulated black hole environments, by Alain Riazuelo (compulsory registration at reception on arrival)
    3. Tables shared with young researchers in the laboratory courtyard, around a food truck

Logo du Domaine d'Intérêt Majeur Origine de la Région Île-de-FranceLogo de la Région Île-de-FranceLogo du CNRSLogo de Sorbonne Université

Our partners

puce Action funded by the programme DIM-Origines from Région Île-de-France.

puce Sorbonne Université


puce Jean Mouette
Institut d’astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, Sorbonne Université
mouette [at] iap [dot] fr

Organization: Karim Benabed, Pierre Boldrini, Axel Lapel, Alice Maurel et Aline Vitrie
Video, communication, iconography and layout: Jean Mouette
Scientific committee: Yohan Dubois et Christophe Pichon
Administration and welcome: Sandy Artero
Logistics: Christophe Gobet
Writing: Yohan Dubois, Karim Benabed, Valérie de Lapparent

June 2023

Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris - 98 bis boulevard Arago - 75014 Paris