He opened his eyes just a few months ago, in July 2023. He had already amazed us with his very first shots test, but now the space telescope Euclid dell’European Space Agency (Esa) made the leap, giving back to us images of the cosmos as it had never been possible to see it before. In the images coloured just released by ESA, known celestial objects are seen in a detail never achieved beforebut also many others never seen.
Euclid’s eyes are gone very far away, just as expected. For experts, the mission is ready to achieve its objective: to create the 3D map of the Universe largest ever made and discover the most indecipherable secrets of the cosmos: the materia and thedark energy. Precisely by studying shots of space – analyzing the distances, shapes, movements of billions of galaxies at a distance of up to 10 billion light years – we could reveal how dark matter and energy shape our Universe.
“Dark matter binds galaxies together and causes them to rotate faster than visible matter alone can explain; dark energy drives theaccelerated expansion of the Universe”, comments Carole Mundell, ESA scientific director. “Euclid will allow cosmologists to study these dark mysteries together for the first time, giving us a leap in understanding the cosmos as a whole.”
Cluster NGC 6397
The image shows the globular star cluster NGC 6397: hundreds of thousands of stars of different sizes and colors, where the blue stars are the youngest and the red ones the oldest. The gravitational bond between the stars at the center of the shot gives rise to the cluster.
The Horsehead Nebula, in the constellation of Orion, hovers against the black background of deep space, at approximately 1,375 light years away. There are many images of this nursery of stars, but the one taken by Euclid is extremely sharp, of superior definition, also considering the fact that it was acquired in just one hour of work.
Perseus galaxy cluster
In this shot they are enclosed thousands of galaxies. The closest ones (about a thousand) are part of the Perseus cluster and appear large, with yellow-white halos. In the background, another 100 thousand more distant galaxies are scattered, different in shape and colour, ranging from white to yellow to red. Some are so far away that they appear like bright dots and the further away they are, the redder they are.
Spiral galaxy IC342
White and pink, the spiral galaxy IC342 swirls in the center of this image. At the center, where there is the greatest concentration of stars, it appears whiter, while its arms almost seem to dissolve into the cosmos. All round, stars from blue (the youngest) to white, up to yellow and red (the oldest).
Galaxy NGC 6822
The picture shows one irregular round galaxy, white in the center, where the stars are most concentrated, and yellower on the outside. You can appreciate several pink “bubbles” within the galaxy.
Image credits: ESA/EUCLID/EUCLID CONSORTIUM/NASA, IMAGE PROCESSING BY J.-C. CUILLANDRE
(CEA PARIS-SACLAY), G. ANSELMI; CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO \
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