Euclid’s paving a path to create a Mind-Blowing 3D Universe Map
Recently, the European Space Agency’s Euclid space mission unveiled its first full-colour images of the universe. This is a big deal because no telescope has ever taken such clear pictures across such a huge part of the sky, peering so far into space. These five images prove that Euclid is all set to make the most detailed 3D map of the Universe ever, revealing some of its hidden mysteries.
Euclid is a powerful telescope launched in July 2023. It has a crucial task that aims to uncover the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, which together make up a significant 95% of our universe. Despite their dominance, these mysterious elements are challenging to see. Euclid’s job is to figure out how dark matter and dark energy have influenced the universe as we know it.
Dark matter pulls galaxies together, causing them to spin faster than what we can see. Meanwhile, dark energy is the force driving the universe to expand rapidly. Euclid is set to help study these cosmic mysteries simultaneously, representing a significant leap in our understanding of the universe.
Over the next six years, Euclid will study the shapes, distances, and movements of billions of galaxies spread over an immense distance of 10 billion light-years. This ambitious project aims to create the most extensive 3D map of the universe, unravelling hidden secrets that have puzzled scientists for years.
What sets Euclid apart is its special ability to capture incredibly sharp images, both visible and infrared, across a vast portion of the sky in one go. The recently released images showcase Euclid’s skill, displaying everything from bright stars to faint galaxies in stunning detail. Euclid’s success is attributed to its special design, precise manufacturing, and meticulous temperature and pointing control.
Euclid’s initial images feature the Perseus Cluster of galaxies, exhibiting 1000 galaxies, some so far away that their light took an astonishing 10 billion years to reach us. Another image reveals a spiral galaxy, IC 342, known as the ‘Hidden Galaxy,’ resembling our Milky Way. Euclid also observes irregular galaxies like NGC 6822 and sparkling globular clusters like NGC 6397. The telescope provides a panoramic view of the Horsehead Nebula in the Orion constellation.
Scientists are excited about these detailed and beautiful images, offering a glimpse of Euclid’s potential to uncover hidden aspects of the universe. Over the next six years, Euclid’s data will be shared annually, contributing to the global scientific community’s understanding of the cosmos.