Latest news from DAWN

A list of all news from DAWN, including highlighted publications, received grants, outreach activities & media appearance, job openings, and more…

Giants of the Universe: Francesco Valentino receives grant to join the Cosmic Dawn Center

November 30, 2023

Congratulations to Francesco Valentino who has been awarded a large Sapere Aude grant from Independent Research Fund Denmark to join us here at DAWN, leading a project to investigate the most massive galaxies of the early Universe.

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Three missions left in ESA’s race for the next medium-class space mission

November 16, 2023

Last year, 27 missions entered the competition for ESA’s next “medium-class” space mission. Now only three are left in the race, including the THESEUS mission with involvement from DAWN. The proposed spacecraft aims to unveil the secrets of stellar explosions in the early Universe.

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Webb observes the glowing embers of colliding neutron stars

October 25, 2023

Gamma-ray bursts are brief flashes of the most energetic form of light, reaching us from the distant Universe. They have their origin in stellar explosions, but the exact circumstances are still debated. Now a team of researchers including astronomers from the Niels Bohr Institute has used the James Webb Space Telescope to study a gamma-ray burst, which turned out to be the second-brightest ever seen. The study, which has just been published in Nature, revealed the creation of the element tellurium which had not been recognized before.

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Colliding neutron stars provide a new way to measure the expansion of the Universe

September 29, 2023

In recent years, astronomy has seen itself in a bit of crisis: Although we know that the Universe expands, and although we know approximately how fast, the two primary ways to measure this expansion do not agree. Now astrophysicists from the Niels Bohr Institute suggest a novel method which may help resolve this tension.

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Astronomers discover newborn galaxies with the James Webb Space Telescope

September 21, 2023

With the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers are now able to peer so far back in time that we are approaching the epoch where we think that the first galaxies were created. Throughout most of the history of the Universe, galaxies seemingly tend to follow a tight relation between how many stars they have formed, and how many heavy elements they have formed. But for the first time we now see signs that this relation between the amount of stars and elements does not hold for the earliest galaxies. The reason is likely that these galaxies simply are in the process of being created, and have not yet had the time to create the heavy elements.

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A galaxy group in the early Universe

September 10, 2023

Using the Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers led by researchers at the Cosmic Dawn Center in Copenhagen, have investigated a galaxy seen almost 11 billion years back in time. Contrary to typical observations, the galaxy was discovered not by the light it emits, but by the light it absorbs. The galaxy itself evades observations, but has at least one nearby companion. Together, these galaxies comprise an early group which may later evolve to resemble the Local Group in which we live.

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John Weaver awarded the IDA PhD Prize

June 8, 2023

John Weaver has been awarded the IDA PhD Prize for the most outstanding astronomy PhD thesis defended at a Danish university in 2022.

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Help wanted! Astronomers seek assistance from citizen scientists

May 26, 2023

In a new, magnificent project — the Cosmic Dawn Survey — professional astronomers are seeking the assistance from the public. The survey is unveiling tens of millions of new galaxies, and to describe their physical properties these galaxies need to be organized according to various criteria, including their “appearance”. But unlike most features in science, the appearance of a galaxy is not always objective.

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James Webb’s “too massive” galaxies may be even more massive

May 17, 2023

The first results from the James Webb Space Telescope have hinted at galaxies so early and so massive that they are in tension with our understanding of the formation of structure in the Universe. Various explanations have been proposed that may alleviate this tension. But now a new study from the Cosmic Dawn Center suggests an effect which has never before been studied at such early epochs, indicating that the galaxies may be even more massive.

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Nearby galaxies help astronomers understand distant galaxies

May 9, 2023

To better understand observations of the most distant galaxies, an international team of astronomers has built a sample of local galaxies which can be studied in much higher detail. In a newly published study they show how the amount of light that escapes from a galaxy is connected to its physical properties. The result has implications for how we interpret observations of galaxies in the early Universe.

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