The European Space Agency (ESA) has published the first photos from the Euclid telescope. Over the next six years, he will explore space to discover the secrets of dark matter and dark energy.
On Tuesday, the European Space Agency (ESA) shared the first color photos taken by the Euclid telescope.
– The telescope has incredible precision in measuring shapes galaxies. Thanks to this, we will be able to measure their position in 3D. So we will create the largest three-dimensional catalog of the Universe. We can extract enormous knowledge from these images. The colors themselves tell us something about the physics encoded in the light. So we have a lot to decipher, said Carole Mundell, ESA’s scientific director
It is to study the dark matter of the Universe
The ESA telescope was launched on July 1 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Its purpose is to study the composition and evolution of the dark matter and dark energy of the Universe.
“Dark matter pulls galaxies together and causes them to spin faster than visible matter alone can dictate. Dark energy drives the accelerated expansion of the universe,” Carole Mundell wrote in a statement. “Euclid will, for the first time, enable cosmologists to explore these competing dark mysteries together,” she added.
The first image taken by the Euclid telescope shows the thousand galaxies that make up the Perseus Cluster, located about 240 million light-years from Earth. In the background of the photo you can see another 100,000 galaxies located at even greater distances.
In the next image we see the spiral galaxy IC 342, also called the Hidden Galaxy or Caldwell 5. It is located about 10.8 million light-years away and is difficult to see because it is hidden behind the stars, gas and dust of the Milky Way.
The third published image, taken by the Euclid telescope, shows the irregular galaxy NGC 6822, located about 1.6 million light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius.
The next photo captured NGC 6397 – a globular cluster located in the constellation of Altar.
In the last, probably most colorful image, we see the Horse Nebula Head, which was shown in the smallest details. This nebula is a “stellar nursery” of hot, young stars located in the Orion Nebula. It is located at a distance of 1,500 to 1,350 light-years from us and is the closest star-forming region to us.
“We have never seen such detailed astronomical images before,” René Laureijs, ESA scientist in charge of the Euclid project, said in a statement. “They are even more beautiful and sharper than we could have expected. They show us many previously invisible features in well-known areas of the nearby Universe. Now we are ready to observe billions of galaxies and study their evolution over cosmic time” – he added.
Main photo source: ESA/Euclid/Euclid Consortium/NASA, image processing: J.-C. Cuillandre (CEA Paris-Saclay), G. Anselmi