The initial colored pictures from Europe’s
On Tuesday, the latest images from the compact observatory were released, showcasing the flawless performance of its powerful cameras. This marks a significant step in the mission to study the enigmatic properties of dark energy and dark matter.
One jaw-dropping image provides a spectacular wide-angle view of the
“Uncovering a minimum of 1,000 galaxies that are gravitationally connected, with an additional 100,000 scattered throughout the further background – including many that were previously unknown.”
Four additional pictures display a pair of galaxies in close proximity – the renowned Horsehead nebula and a globular cluster. This particular cluster is one of approximately 150 spherical collections of stars rotating around the center of the Milky Way.
Launched from Cape Canaveral on July 1 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the $1.5 billion Euclid is stationed about a million miles from Earth on the far side of the moon’s orbit.
During its six-year expedition, the observatory will capture images of the entirety of the sky surrounding the Milky Way, keeping track of galaxies and galaxy clusters from 10 billion years ago.
Researchers plan to analyze slight fluctuations in the light emitted by approximately 1.5 billion galaxies in order to witness the shift from the initial deceleration caused by gravity after the Big Bang to the period of accelerated expansion that occurred around 5 billion years ago, when dark energy began to take over.
Euclid is expected to finish its 3D sky map in six years, resulting in approximately 100 gigabytes of compressed data per day, totaling an estimated 70,000 terabytes throughout the mission.