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Launch of Europe's Euclid space telescope to map dark universe

July 2, 2023
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The European Space Agency's (ESA) Euclid telescope, launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, is embarking on a $1.5 billion mission to explore unseen forces driving the Universe's expansion. It aims to examine billions of galaxies over the course of a six-year survey, shedding light on the properties and influences of dark matter and dark energy, which are believed to constitute 95% of the Universe.

Telescope Launch and Mission: ESA's Euclid telescope, launched via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will investigate the unseen forces behind the Universe's expansion.
  • Euclid, named after the ancient Greek mathematician, is set to observe billions of galaxies during its six-year sky survey.
  • The telescope will measure these galaxies' shapes and positions over the past 10 billion years, covering more than 70% of cosmic history.

  • Goals of the Euclid Mission: This mission intends to enhance understanding of dark matter and dark energy, thought to comprise about 95% of the Universe.
  • The Euclid mission is led by the European Space Agency and aims to learn about the properties and influences of dark matter and dark energy.
  • Only the remaining 5% of the Universe consists of visible atoms and molecules.

  • Challenges of Studying Dark Matter and Energy: The process of learning about these unseen cosmic forces presents significant challenges.
  • Henk Hoekstra, a professor and cosmologist at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, likens the endeavor to finding a black cat in a dark room—particularly if the cat isn't there.
  • While there are observations of these phenomena, there's currently no comprehensive theory explaining dark matter or dark energy.
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