Latest news from DAWN

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

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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Charlotte Mason receives the L’Oréal-UNESCO’s For Women in Science Award

May 3, 2023

Congratulations to Charlotte Mason who has just been awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO’s For Women in Science Prize.

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The brightest explosion ever seen

March 29, 2023

Gamma-ray bursts are the most energetic explosions in the Universe, marking the end of a star’s life. A particularly bright burst was recently detected by several space telescopes. A team of scientists led by astronomers at the Cosmic Dawn Center measured the exact distance to the burst, allowing them to calculate the total energy released: During its duration of just five minutes it released much more energy than our Sun has emitted throughout its lifetime of 4½ billion years, making the burst the single most energetic ever detected.

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Astrophysicists unveil the unexpected symmetry of cosmic explosions

February 20, 2023

Although the magnificent explosion of colliding neutron stars is visible across most of the Universe, the resulting fireball is much too small to study in detail. But now astronomers from the Cosmic Dawn Center has found a way to measure the shape of the explosion. The surprising result provides new insight into fundamental physics relating to the formation of heavy elements and the birth a black holes. The study has just been published in the scientific journal Nature.

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Early galaxy formation caught in the act with James Webb

January 30, 2023

Astronomers from the Cosmic Dawn Center have unveiled the nature of the densest region of galaxies seen with the James Webb Space telescope in the early Universe. They find it to be likely the progenitor of massive, Milky Way-like galaxy, seen at a time where it is still assembling from smaller galaxies.

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