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Dr. Andreas Koch-Hansen
ZAH, Astronomisches Rechen-Institut
Mönchhofstr. 12
D-69120 Heidelberg
Phone: ++49-6221-54-1841
E-mail:andreas (dot) koch (at)


I am a tenured research astronomer and my research focuses on the study of the Milky Way Galaxy using a variety of tracers and methods. As such, I study all questions related to ``Galactic Astronomy'', mainly through the tool of ``chemical tagging''. Overall, my interests include

Alpha-elements in the bulge, thin, and thick disk, and the star cluster Gaia 1 Chemical abundance measurements in and orbital histories of globular clusters, dwarf galaxies, and field stars in the various Galactic components (disks/bulge/halo).
Rotation curve of the metal-poor GC NGC 6426 Dynamical studies of star clusters, dark matter in dwarf galaxies.
Tidally disrupted HCC-087 Morphology of galaxies in the Local Universe.

The ``Galactic halos and bulges'' group

Galactic halos and bulges group photo Group members (left to right):

  • Camilla Juul Hansen (external collaborator, MPIA; Heavy element nucleosynthesis)
  • Dongwook Lim (Postdoc, Milky Way bulge, globular clusters)
  • Philipp Siebold (MSc, chemical abundances in globular clusters)
  • Alessandro Savino (Postdoc, Milky Way bulge, horizontal branch stars)
  • Michael Hanke (associated PhD student, chemical abundances of stellar systems)
  • Andreas Koch-Hansen (Head of group, stellar populations)

Former members:

Matthias Frank (Postdoc 2012-2017); Nikolay Kacharov (PhD 2015); Benjamin Hendricks (PhD 2015); Michael Seifert (MSc 2016); Emma L.E. Knudsen (BSc 2018, Aalborg University); Ivalu B. Christensen (BSc 2018, Aalborg University); Michael Czuray (Staatsexamen 2015); Karolin Voss (Visiting student 2018)

Student projects

All the above research projects offer a broad range and great pool for Bachelor, Master, or PhD theses. Possible projects involve

  • A Chemical characterization of very wide binaries (at separations of up to 1 pc).
  • Chemodynamic characterisation of low-latitude star clusters.
  • Properties of dwarf galaxies in the vicinity of galaxies in the Local Volume, and the relation to the host galaxies' halos.
Please contact me if you are interested.

News & job opportunities

  • Postdoc position available!
  • Nov. 30, 2018: We have officially been awarded the third extension of SFB 881 ``The Milky System''. Within this huge, collaborative research center that encompasses all of Heidelberg's six astronomy institutes, my group was awared three projects (see also the student opportunities above). These comprise:
    • A03: Wide binaries
    • A05: Low-latitude star clusters
    • A11: The chemodynamic properties of the oldest components of the Galactic bulge


As my research is primarily observationally based, data for the projects I and my collaborators are involved in come from a variety of sources.
Some relevant examples (not to mention the obvious multi-object instruments such as ESO's FLAMES are listed here.

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