Themes >> – University of Copenhagen


Understanding the dark Universe is one of the current main goals in the natural sciences. The rationale of DARK is to apply new observational methods to probe the dark Universe in a unified observational and theoretical framework.

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Dark Ages
About 300.000 years after the Big Bang the Universe had cooled enough for the ionized gas to become neutral. The following several hundred million years are referred to as the cosmic 'dark ages'- a time when there were no sources of light. The dark ages ended with the ignition of the first shining sources.

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Black Holes
Black holes are extreme concentrations of matter with a gravitational pull that not even light escapes. Supermassive black holes, millions to billions of times the solar mass, formed in the early Universe at the focal points of coalescing matter that evolved into galaxies.

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Dark Matter
Dark matter has been observed in a wide range of scales, from the smallest dwarf galaxies, over galaxy clusters, to the entire Universe. These observations show that dark matter is about a factor 5 more abundant than normal matter. One of the key quests of astrophysics is to unravel the nature of the dark matter particle.

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Dark Energy
Observations of supernovae have revealed the unexpected finding that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. This is attributed to the presence of dark energy, dominating the energy content of the Universe. The nature of this mysterious component is completely unknown.

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Cosmic Dust
Cosmic dust can have crucial effects on the light from distant objects such as gamma-ray bursts and supernovae. Cosmic dust is probably also the seed for the formation of planets like the Earth.