The Euclid telescope dazzles with the first detailed images of our universe | ET REALITY


Whether capturing spiral galaxies or stellar nurseries, Euclid It is showing the good side of our universe.

On Tuesday, the European Space Agency shared the first images from the robotic telescope in space: five ethereal views of our cosmos.

Launched in July, Euclid aims to map one-third of the extragalactic sky and reveal how the mysterious influences of dark matter and energy have shaped the structure of the universe. The new images are just a sample of what scientists hope the space telescope will achieve.

“I’m just overwhelmed by the magnitude of the data,” said Michael Seiffert, a cosmologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a member of the Euclid mission. “The ability to have really sharp images that cover a wide field at the same time is really amazing.”

Perhaps most striking is a shot of the Horsehead Nebula, a star factory 1,375 light-years from Earth with a distinctive equine-shaped cloud. The image shows reddish-brown gas and dust churning with young stars, young Jupiter-like worlds, and rogue planets broken off from a host star. In the lower left corner, massive child stars cast the interstellar clouds of another nebula, NGC 2023, in a soft lavender glow.

Scientists also published a spectacular new view of the Perseus cluster, an aggregation of galaxies 240 million light years away. Most of the colorful specks are not stars, Dr. Seiffert said, but galaxies, some so faint they have never been seen before. Free-floating stars, stripped of their galaxies and drifting in the spaces between, may also be nested in the cluster.

Euclid’s team also shared close-ups of galaxies: a faint white spiral, IC 342, similar to our Milky Way, and an irregular dwarf galaxy, NGC 6822, among a dense field of stars. The final image shows the globular cluster NGC 6397, a collection of stars orbiting the disk of our own galaxy.

While NASA James Webb Space Telescope By zooming in on one part of the sky at a time, Euclid excels at imaging broad, but still detailed, swaths of the universe. This is perfect for “when you want to look for a needle in a haystack,” Dr. Seiffert said, including objects like free-floating worlds.

With the data Euclid sends home, researchers can learn how the network of dark matter that undergirds our universe influences the shapes and motions of visible objects in space. The telescope’s detailed resolution is also expected to help scientists map the distribution of galaxies over cosmic time, helping to understand dark energy, the inexplicable force pulling the universe apart.

The mission team is completing final checks and calibrations of Euclid’s instruments, which include a 600-megapixel imaging camera and a near-infrared spectrometer and photometer that will record light from galaxies at wavelengths other than visible to infer their distance. Over the summer, scientists worked day and night to repair a faulty navigation sensor that caused Euclid to create Images of winding star trails. as the telescope tried to capture a piece of sky.

Scientific observations are scheduled to begin early next year. In 2025, scientists plan to publish the first maps of the Euclid universe, which will include more area of ​​the sky than in all the data collected so far by NASA. Hubble space telescopeDr. Seiffert said.

And the team anticipates that Euclid will map the sky over the next six years, bringing together a trove of 12 billion sources for astronomers to delve into and discover.

“The data that emerged represents less than a day of observation,” Dr. Seiffert said of Euclid’s first images. “We’re going to be drowning in data for years and years.”

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