The five images were released by the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany. “They are stunning and remind us why it is important to penetrate into space to learn more about the mysteries of the cosmos,” said ESA chief Josef Aschbacher.
November 7, 2023 at 3:21 p.m., Post Archived: November 7, 2023 at 7:32 p.m.
“Never before has a telescope been able to take such perfectly sharp astronomical images of such a large part of the sky and look so far into space,” said ESA, which wants to collect data on billions of galaxies in this way, among other things, for research into dark matter and dark energy.
These two phenomena are a mystery to cosmology, but they are estimated to have a fundamental effect on the entire universe – without them, scientists cannot explain how the universe works.
According to experts, Euclid will bring the first insights leading to a better understanding of dark matter and energy roughly a year and a half after launch. However, it is impossible to say with certainty what exactly we will learn.
One of the first images shows a cluster of galaxies in the constellation Perseus. According to the ESA, this is a “revolution for astronomy”. It shows 1,000 cluster galaxies and more than 100,000 more distant background galaxies. Many of these faint galaxies have not been seen before.
“They are even more beautiful and sharper than we could have hoped, and show us many hitherto unseen elements in well-known regions of the near universe,” said project scientist René Laureijs of the Euclid project.
The Euclid probe launched into space on July 1 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
The device is roughly 4.7 meters high and 3.5 meters wide and weighs less than two tons. Its main part consists of a telescope with a diameter of 1.2 meters, which protects the shield from the Sun on one side. Under the telescope, in addition to the service module, there are also the VIS and NISP observatories, thanks to which Euclid can provide high-quality imaging in the visible spectrum and perform observations in the near-infrared region.
The mission of the probe, named after the Greek mathematician Euclid, is to compile a three-dimensional map of the universe, which should include two billion galaxies and one-third of the firmament. The Euclid mission, worth 1.4 billion euros (about 34 billion CZK), is planned for six years.