AST5240 – Cosmological Component Separation

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course provides an overview of radio and microwave astronomy and observations in modern cosmology. It provides thorough training in Bayesian component separation with cosmological applications, emphasizing observations of the cosmic background radiation.

Learning outcome

After completing the course you should have the following skills:

  • Basic knowledge of the physical processes of radio and microwave radiation from the Milky Way and other galaxies
  • Knowledge of modern methods for component separation, including Bayesian parameter estimation
  • Overview of relevant data sets for the analysis of cosmic background radiation and other cosmological signals, including COMAP, PASIPHAE, Planck, SPIDER, WMAP etc.
  • Use the Commander software package to analyse observations of the cosmic background radiation


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

A maximum of 15 students per year. If the course has limited capacity, applicants from INTPART institutions in the Global Component Separation Network and students who have the course in their study plan at UiO will be given priority. It will not be possible to enrol in the course after teaching has started.


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor’s Degree from the Physics and Astronomy Program, AST3220 Cosmology I and AST5220 Cosmology II

Overlapping courses

5 credits overlap with AST9240 – Cosmological Component Separation


This is an intensive course with lectures and student-active group exercises. The course will last for two weeks with 20 hours of lectures and the rest of the time will consist of project work. Teaching will take place during the two last weeks of August in the autumn semester. It will not be possible to sign up for classes once teaching has started. Students are expected to give an oral presentation of the project work at the end of the second week of the course. Students are also to submit a written report two weeks after completion of the course.

Compulsory attendance.


Group- or individual project assignment with an oral presentation and written submission.

The student should reproduce a known component separation case.

Examination support material

Project assignment with all aids allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language