A European space telescope has launched on a million-mile journey to map the dark universe.
Named after the ancient Greek mathematician, the Euclid Space Telescope will spend six years exploring the universe and observing billions of galaxies.
It will be launched on Saturday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 4:12 p.m. British time, and is expected to take a month to reach its destination, the region of space known as Lagrange Point 2.
This is a stable location for spacecraft because the gravitational forces of the Earth and the Sun are nearly equal.
The UK has donated £37m to the £850m mission, and scientists have played a key role in the design and construction of the two-tonne rover, making it one of the two scientific instruments on board. led the Visible Imaging System (VIS), one of the The largest camera ever sent into space.
Another instrument is a near-infrared spectrometer and photometer developed in France.
Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the British Space Agency, said: “Watching the launch of Euclid shows the years of hard work of the thousands of people involved in space science missions and the fundamental importance of discoveries, So I feel inspired by the fundamental importance of discoveries in how we explore the universe.” Aimed at understanding and exploring the universe. “
Scientists hope the mission will unravel two of the universe’s greatest mysteries. One is dark energy, the name given to the mysterious force that accelerates the rate of expansion of the universe over time, and dark matter, particles that cannot be absorbed. , reflects or emits light.
According to NASA, about 68% of the universe is dark energy, and dark matter makes up about 27%. “The rest is less than 5% of the universe, including everything on Earth, everything ever observed by all our instruments, and all normal matter.”
Euclid’s mission aims to probe the dark universe to better understand why it is expanding so rapidly.
It takes advantage of a cosmic phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, in which matter acts like a magnifying glass, bending and distorting light from behind-the-scenes galaxies and star clusters to capture high-quality images. .
European Space Agency head Josef Aschbacher said of Euclid’s successful takeoff:
“It is a very happy moment to see this mission flying to its destination and of course making all the measurements of dark energy and dark matter that fascinate us. There are so many questions that can be asked.”
More than 2,000 scientists across Europe participated in the mission, from design to construction to analysis.
https://news.sky.com/story/euclid-telescope-launches-on-mission-to-uncover-secrets-of-dark-universe-12913203 The Euclid Telescope is launched with a mission to unravel the secrets of the dark universe | Science and Technology News