Welcome to the Institute for Astronomy

Astronomy uses observations of the Universe to refine and develop our understanding of fundamental physics, and uses physics to understand the Universe and our place within it. We seek to understand the wonders of our Universe, to share them with the public, and to train the next generation of astronomers to carry on this mission.

Our work focuses on observations of distant and nearby galaxies; the formation and evolution of structures in the Universe; understanding the nature of dark energy and dark matter; and the formation of stars and planets. This wide array of exciting research topics is the basis for our vibrant and dynamic institute.

Latest News


Giant galaxies die inside-out

NGC 4472 is a so-called «red and dead» elliptical galaxy in today’s universe. (Photo: WikiSky/SDSS)

Observations with NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO’s Very Large Telescope have revealed that star formation shuts first down in the centres of big elliptical galaxies. Read more 


Mapping the cosmos: Dark Energy Survey creates detailed guide to spotting dark matter

Dark Matter Map

On 14. April 2015 Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail and will improve our understanding of dark matter’s role in the formation of galaxies.  Read more 


Spring Program 2015 ETH Treffpunkt Science City: The Universe

Das Universum

From 15. - 29. March 2015 the ETH Treffpunkt Science City is hosting various events on the topic "The Universe" on three Sundays of the month. The events are open to the general public and offer many activities for visitors of all ages, such as experiments, workshops and exciting talks. The first Sunday, 15. March 2015, covered the topic "Man and Cosmos" and generated much interest, drawing approx. 3000 visitors to the campus Hönggerberg.   Read more 


Swiss Cosmology Day 2015

Swiss Cosmology Days 2015

This year’s Swiss Cosmology Days took place on 5 & 6 February 2015 at the University of Geneva. The Swiss Cosmology Days are an initiative co-organized by Prof. Ruth Durrer (University of Geneva) & Prof. Alexandre Refregier (ETH Zurich). Read more 


Looking deeply into the Universe in 3D


The MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe. Read more 

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