24/7 Space News
Euclid space telescope delivers first scientific images
The Horsehead Nebula - Euclid shows us a spectacularly panoramic and detailed view of the Horsehead Nebula, also known as Barnard 33 and part of the constellation Orion. In Euclid's new observation of this stellar nursery, scientists hope to find many dim and previously unseen Jupiter-mass planets in their celestial infancy, as well as young brown dwarfs and baby stars. Euclid Consortium - Bildbearbeitung durch J.-C. Cuillandre, G. Anselmi; CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Euclid space telescope delivers first scientific images
by Staff Writers
Heidelberg, Germany (SPX) Nov 08, 2023

Euclid, ESA's newest space telescope with strong German participation, released its first colour photos from space today. Never before has a telescope been able to take such sharp astronomical images over such a large area of the sky while looking so deep into the distant universe. The five images show Euclid's full potential. They illustrate that the telescope is poised to produce the most comprehensive 3D map of the universe to uncover some of its dark secrets. The German members of the Euclid consortium are at the forefront of the research, contributing key technical components and logistical services.

Euclid's most important task is to make the most detailed 3D mapping of the dark universe ever seen. This special telescope helps to find out how dark matter and dark energy make our universe look the way it does today. 95% of our cosmos seems to be made up of these mysterious "dark" ingredients. While dark matter determines the gravitational effects between and within galaxies and initially caused the expansion of the universe to slow down, dark energy is responsible for its current accelerating growth. However, we do not yet understand what they are made of, as their presence causes only very subtle changes in the appearance and movements of the objects we can see.

To detect the "dark" influence on the visible Universe, Euclid will use its two instruments, VIS (Visible Instrument) and NISP (Near Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer), to observe the shapes, distances and motions of billions of galaxies up to 10 billion light years away over the next six years. As a result, it will produce the most comprehensive 3D cosmic map ever made. An example of such observations is the new image of the Perseus galaxy cluster, taken as part of the Early Release Objects (ERO) programme and now published.

Matthias Kluge, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching and at the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich, explains: "With Euclid's huge field of view and its high sensitivity, the galaxies in the Perseus Galaxy Cluster can be measured down to their outermost and faintest regions. Together with the numerous globular clusters that we discover in the razor-sharp images, we thus gain new insights into the late stages of galaxy evolution, when galaxies collide and merge."

At LMU, Koshy George is actively involved in the detailed analysis of spiral galaxies observed as part of the ERO programme. He notes: "The early data from Euclid are stunning! With the large field of view, clarity and sensitivity of the VIS and NISP instruments, we can discover many new details around the galaxies over a wider range than was previously possible." Joe Mohr (LMU) also helped define the ERO programme and select the objects as the German representative on the Euclid science team.

Euclid's first look at the cosmos is not only beautiful, but also of great value to science. First, it shows that the Euclid telescope and instruments work extremely well and that astronomers can use Euclid to study the distribution of matter in the Universe and its evolution at the greatest distances. Secondly, each individual image contains a wealth of new information about the nearby universe. In this way, these images take us beyond the realm of dark matter and dark energy and show how Euclid will create a treasure trove of knowledge about the physics of individual stars, the Milky Way and other galaxies.

What makes Euclid's view of the Universe special is its ability to produce a remarkably sharp visible and infrared image over a large portion of the sky in just one pass. "Euclid will have observed 14,000 square degrees at the end of its mission - 35% of the total sky. The telescope will collect enormous amounts of data and find orders of magnitude more objects than previously possible," Maximilian Fabricius (MPE, LMU) says. Combined with image data from ground-based telescopes, this will create the largest and most accurate multi-wavelength catalogue in extragalactic astronomy.

However, it would not be possible without precise calibration of the data. For this purpose, the influences of the telescope with its instruments as well as the harsh environment of space are precisely determined and taken into account when optimizing the data and images. The Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg is responsible for this task for the NISP instrument. Calibration mediates between the ideal conception of the telescope system and real technology.

This also means optimizing the properties determined in advance in the laboratory during operation. "The instrument is as it is," says Knud Jahnke, instrument scientist at MPIA. "With the system launched, you can already take pretty nice pictures of the sky, but the science is often in the details. To really do cosmology, to get better images than would ever have been possible from the ground, it's not enough."

"With the first scientific images and the excellent image quality, especially of our instrument NISP, we are happy and proud to have contributed to these great results," says Frank Grupp (MPE, LMU), under whose leadership the optics of the NISP instrument were developed and built at MPE. Euclid contains the largest optical lenses ever developed for a scientific space mission. Grupp adds: "We would also like to thank the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bonn in particular here for their continuous support during all phases of the project."

The task now is to evaluate the wealth of data in the coming months and years, which will eventually result in a handsome number of scientific publications. In addition, Euclid's results will lead to further follow-up observations with other telescopes to complete the knowledge about the individual objects.

Related Links
Euclid Consortium
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
Europe's Euclid space telescope releases first images
Darmstadt, Germany (AFP) Nov 7, 2023
The first images from Europe's Euclid space telescope were released on Tuesday, showing a nebula resembling a horse's head, never-before-seen distant galaxies and even "circumstantial evidence" of elusive dark matter. Euclid blasted off in July on the world's first-ever mission aiming to investigate the enduring cosmic mysteries of dark matter and dark energy. It will do so partly by charting one third of the sky - encompassing a mind-boggling two billion galaxies - to create what has been bil ... read more

NASA awards medal to worm logotype designer Richard Danne

Workshop to highlight NASA's support for mobility, in-space servicing

Reaching New Frontiers in Science Supported by Public Participation

Inspiring the Next Generation with Student Challenges and Learning Opportunities

Pioneering satellite refueling technology could extend missions indefinitely

High-power propulsion for gateway will be electric blue

Early production continues on Advanced Upper Stage for SLS

Starlink mission brings SpaceX's orbital launch count to 80 missions so far in 2023

The Ones Who Make Curiosity Go: Sols 4001-4003

Curiosity rover clocks 4,000 sols on Mars

Estimating depositional timing on Mars using cosmogenic radionuclide data

Mars Climate Sounder data reveals new cloud trends, study shows

New scientific experimental samples from China's space station return to Earth

Shenzhou XVI crew return after 'very cool journey'

Chinese astronauts return to Earth with fruitful experimental results

Chinese astronauts return to Earth after 'successful' mission

European Space Agency turns to private sector to deliver cargo shuttle serving the ISS

Foxconn awards Exolaunch with contract to deploy the group's first satellites

ESA's Proba-3 Formation Flying Mission Proceeds to Final Checks

Sidus Space secures new agreement for LizzieSat data sales

ESA hones 3D Printed electromagnetic coils for spaceflight

World-first Zero Debris Charter goes live

Three-Body Tethered Satellite System Deploys Successfully in Simulations

Planet Labs advances satellite communication with NASA CSP ground tests

An ammonia trail to exoplanets

Scorching, seven-planet system revealed by new Kepler Exoplanet list

Jurassic worlds might be easier to spot than modern Earth

Giant planets cast a deadly pall

Salts and organics observed on Ganymede's surface by June

New jet stream discovered in Jupiter's upper atmosphere

Uranus aurora discovery offers clues to habitable icy worlds

How NASA is protecting Europa Clipper from space radiation

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.