Cosmology – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

Dark Cosmology Centre

The Cosmology Group is the National Danish Research Centre's Dark Cosmology Centre, which is researching a topic which in recent years overturned astronomers' view of the universe, namely the presence of dark energy and dark matter in space.

For thousands of years we have looked out into space and seen moons, planets, stars and galaxies. But suddenly, it was discovered that the universe was not only comprised of all the visible celestial bodies, there are also a huge amount of invisible matter out there - dark matter. 70% of the universe's energy is dark energy and 25% of everything out there is dark matter. This is what the Danish researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have been exploring. But no-one really knows what it is, and that is the answer for which the astrophysicists, together with the particle physicists are searching.

Cosmic "lighthouses" such as exploding supernovae and gamma-rays, are used by the researchers to illuminate the dark universe. The most sensitive telescopes on earth and in space are utilised to make observations, and by studying the cosmic explosions in the distant universe, researchers can find out about the characteristics of that dark energy. Clusters of galaxies are "key laboratories" for researchers to measure the characteristics and amount of dark matter, which fills the space between the galaxies.

Stardust When stars explode and die, the dust is blown out into the universe as large clouds of gas and dust. Gradually that dust gathers into clumps and become new stars and planets. By combining astrophysical observations of cosmic dust in the universe with experiments in the laboratory, researchers can clarify what the dust is made of and how it forms new planets- and life.

Visit the homepage of the centre: Dark Cosmology Centre (DARK) >>