Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics

Messier 101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (Image: NASA, ESA, K. Kuntz (JHU), F. Bresolin (University of Hawaii), J. Trauger (Jet Propulsion Lab), J. Mould (NOAO), Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana) and STScI; CFHT Image: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/J.-C. Cuillandre/Coelum; NOAO Image: G. Jacoby, B. Bohannan, M. Hanna/NOAO/AURA/NSF)



The division studies processes in stars, galaxies, planets, the Solar System and the universe as a whole and develops instrumentation to observe these objects. We also study the Earth's atmosphere and it's interaction with space. The head of the divison is Allan Hornstrup

About the division


We are a dedicated and diverse staff, which includes researchers, engineers, PhD students and technical and administrative support staff as well as international guest researchers. Thus, we have a very broad competence profile that enables us to do research and develop technology at a very high international level.
(Illustration: DTU Space)


We frequently publish scientific articles on topics which range widely from exploring the earliest galaxies and exoplanets to lightning discharges in space near Earth and much more. We publish in many contexts and have, among other things, been on the front page of both Nature and Science with groundbreaking knowledge.
Blue Jet.


Our division studies: Compact Objects and Transient Phenomena - Exoplanets - High Energy Instrumentation - Cosmo Climatology - Electrical Discharges in the Atmosphere - Observational Cosmology - Space Weather. Below you will find more information on each of the Research fields.

Colliding neutron stars produce gold. (Illustration: Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital Inc.)

Compact Objects and Transient Phenomena

We investigate the physical conditions about supernova explosions and their compact outcomes, neutron stars and black holes, as well as transient phenomena in the vicinity of supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies, so as to better understand the most extreme objects in the universe.

Artist's concept of Kepler-62e, a super-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun, located about 1,200 light-years from Earth. (Image: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech)


The Exoplanet Group focuses on detecting and characterizing exoplanets by studying a wide range of worlds, from hot Jupiters down to temperate Earth-sized planets, using both observations and modelling. Our research includes mass measurements of terrestrial exoplanets and observations, characterization, and modelling of a wide range of exoplanetary atmospheres.
Nustar er en højenergimission opsendt i 2012, som DTU Space deltager i. (Illustration: NASA)

High Energy Instrumentation

The electromagnetic radiation emission from astrophysical sources contains valuable information. Within the Gamma-ray domain, detection processes observing these sources are challenging. Future hard X- and Gamma-ray imaging telescopes require advanced spectral and imaging capabilities. We develop high-energy, high-resolution, state-of-the-art semiconductor detectors for this.
Particle traces from 100 GeV protons that hit the Atmosphere. (Illustration: Henrik Svensmark)

Cosmo Climatology

A new field of research has been taking form over the last two decades. It investigates how processes in space affect the terrestrial climate on timescales from fractions of a second to billions of years and considers the consequences for life on the Earth, past, present and future. We investigate the intensity of Galactic cosmic rays and it's impact on the Earth's atmosphere and climate.
ASIM-missionen lede af DTU Space undersøger elektriske udladninger i rummet. (Foto: ESA/NASA)

Electrical Discharges in the Atmosphere

The ASIM Science Data Centre is the data processing and distribution hub for the ASIM mission to the ISS. ASDC is the portal for all scientific exploitation of the ASIM data. ASDC is based at DTU Space with contributions to the offline analysis from the University of Bergen and the University of Valencia
Intracluster Light in MACS J0416. (Image:

Observational Cosmology

Our research and instrument development related to observational cosmology covers a broad range of topics. From the cosmic microwave background and large-scale structure, to the epoch of reionization and the formation and evolution of galaxies across cosmic time.
Coronal Hole on the sun. (Image: NASA/AIA)

Solar Wind and Planetary Interactions (Space Weather)

DTU develops new methods for forecasting adverse conditions in space which could be harmful to satellites and to technology on ground. We focus primarely on structures in the solar wind which could cause geomagnetic storms. We investigate their sources at the Sun and their effects at Earth.
From the division

Further Research Topics

The James Webb Telescope, the largest and most powerful space telescope ever has been launced. An international partnership between NASA, ESA and CSA, the telescope launches on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. The telescope will transform our view of the mid-infrared Universe.

Picture :ESA


DTU Space contributes technologically and scientifically to the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most powerful space telescope ever launced. An international partnership between NASA, ESA and CSA, the telescope launches on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. The telescope will transform our view of the mid-infrared Universe. (Illustration ESA/NASA)