Home / News / Euclid, a mission dedicated to searching for dark matter, has released stunning new images showcasing a multitude of stars and galaxies

Euclid, a mission dedicated to searching for dark matter, has released stunning new images showcasing a multitude of stars and galaxies

The European Space Agency built the Euclid space observatory to look for dark matter and dark energy, two important but invisible parts of the universe. The observatory has now put out its first science report, which shows that it is up to the job. That’s not all it can do.

The observatory can do a lot more than just take five pictures and the ten papers that go with them. The first catalog was made in just one day, and it has more than 11 million objects that can be seen and 5 million more that can be seen in infrared light. It can find new dwarf galaxies and see rogue planets that are only four times the size of Jupiter. It can also see star clusters with a level of detail that has never been seen before. But the goal is still to study galaxies very carefully to indirectly limit what we know about the dark universe.

“Euclid is really cool.” Out of the whole universe, only 5% is made up of things we can see, like galaxies, stars, and the earth itself. That means we can’t see 95% of it. People want to know what’s out there and how things work. “That’s why we launched this mission,” Dr. Josef Aschbacher, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), said in a previous interview about the upcoming launch of Ariane 6.

To get a better idea of how dark energy and dark matter work, Euclid will help us figure out how to measure their indirect effects. We won’t see them, but we can figure out what effect they had without seeing them. And this is really pretty exciting!”

Last year, Euclid had some problems that made for some amazing art, but the first pictures released in November showed what the telescope could do and how it could be used. The hype is well-earned, and this new batch adds to it. Gravitational lensing is one thing that astronomers are looking at in particular.

The images of the clusters that are centered on Abel 2390 and Abel 2764 show light arcs and galaxies that are not straight. When something big, like a galaxy cluster, bends space-time so much that it acts like a big magnifying glass, we call that strong gravitational lensing.

But the universe also has lensing that is much less obvious. Any mass between the observers and the object will result in this weak gravitational lensing, which is a lighter distortion. All of this lensing can be used to find dark matter, which is a made-up substance that should only interact with gravity and not light.

IFLScience spoke with Roland Vavrek, Euclid Deputy Project Scientist, who said, “Gravitational lensing is at the heart of science.” “In these beautiful pictures of clusters, which naturally contain very massive systems, you can see the effects of gravitational lensing and see how clearly, quickly, and well Euclid can pick out the arcs, which show that the background galaxies are getting bigger.”

The fact that Euclid can very accurately measure the shapes of galaxies is what makes it a great dark matter telescope. By changing these shapes, astronomers can figure out how dark matter is spread out in the universe in three dimensions. But to get a lot of galaxies, you also need a wide field of view. And a telescope that stays steady while these exact observations are made.

“Euclid’s system for guiding is a great work of engineering.” “It makes sure that we can keep the telescope on target for the nearly 600-second exposure,” Vavrek said. “It’s a small thing, but it makes sure that the galaxies don’t get muddy from the special effects.” Because the lensing effect is weak, we can really measure the blur.

Every image we observe of Euclid possesses remarkable capabilities. Further from the two galaxy clusters, we observe specific features within the Dorado Group of galaxies. This galaxy group is among the more affluent ones that can be observed in the Southern Hemisphere.

Euclid demonstrates a dual capacity to investigate both the global and local distribution of dark matter in this context. Here, the merging of two galaxies is occurring, and we can observe shells and tidal tails of gas that are being affected by the gravitational forces of the entire system, including both visible and invisible components.

Let’s look at NGC 6744 while we’re still talking about galaxies. It is one of the sky’s biggest spiral galaxies. Euclid can keep track of how stars are being made in this object, which helps us learn more about how galaxies change over time and how stars have been made throughout the universe’s history.

Euclid can get a good look at those areas where stars are forming if they are much closer to us. Take the Messier 78. Euclid paints a picture of this star nursery that has never been seen before. It clearly shows where stars are being born for the first time and where gas and dust are spread out, thanks to its infrared camera.

Strange pictures are being taken, and science is laying the groundwork for a better understanding of the universe as a whole. Euclid is what it said it would be, and we can’t wait to see more.

You can read the papers from the release here, which are on the preprint server arXiv.

About Chambers

Check Also

SpaceX successfully deploys inaugural set of new surveillance satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)

Today, the National Reconnaissance Office successfully deployed an undisclosed quantity of advanced surveillance satellites into …