The Kilo-Degree Survey

The VLT Survey Telescope at sunset at Paranal Observatory

KiDS, the Kilo-Degree Survey, is a large optical imaging survey in the Southern sky, designed to tackle some of the most fundamental questions of cosmology and galaxy formation of today. Using the VLT Survey Telescope (VST), located at the ESO Paranal Observatory, KiDS will map 1500 square degrees of the night sky in four broad-band filters (u, g, r, i).

Survey overview
Scientific goals



Postal address:

KiDS survey
attn: J. T. A. de Jong
Sterrewacht Leiden
P.O. Box 9513
NL-2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

KiDS measures cosmic shear from 15 million galaxies

16 June 2016

Based on 450 square degrees of imaging, we have obtained the first cosmological parameter constraints from KiDS. The main result is shown in the Figure, in the form of constraints on the σ8 - Ωmatter plane. Interestingly, and in common with many other low-redshift probes, the best-fit values show a discrepancy with the expectation from Planck cosmology. Further studies are underway.

KiDS-450 paper and data access


Constraints in the Ωm vs. σ8 plane from KiDS-450 cosmic shear tomography (green) in comparison to CFHTLenS (gray), WMAP9+ACT+SPT (blue), and Planck 2015 (orange).

Dutch broadcaster VPRO interviews Margot Brouwer

18 May 2016

Dutch broadcasting corporation VPRO interviewed Leiden University Phd student Margot Brouwer about her work on KiDS. The article, which is only available in Dutch, has been published in the VPRO tv guide, but can also be downloaded below. On Thursday May 19th at 19:20 CEST, a related documentary focused on the nature of Dark Matter will be broadcast on Dutch public tv station NPO2.

Donkere materie vangen
De Kennis van Nu: Special - Donkere Materie

First science results from KiDS published

6 Jul 2015

Today the first scientific results from the Kilo-Degree Survey have been published. Among the first batch of papers are early weak gravitational lensing analyses, demonstrating the power of the superb image quality of KiDS for this type of research. Other results presented include the discovery of four high-redshift quasars, a sample of super-compact massive galaxies, and a catalog of photometric redshift based on machine learning techniques. Links to the papers are provided on the Papers page, and press releases highlighting these first results can be found via the Press releases page.


Animated gif of a group of galaxies, with and without the invisible dark matter rendered in pink. Credit: Kilo-Degree Survey Collaboration/A. Tudorica & C. Heymans/ESO