The first images captured by the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Euclid mission are due to be released.
About Euclid Space Telescope
- The Euclid mission is part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme which aims to explore the origin and components of the universe and the fundamental laws that govern it.
- Its main goal is to investigate the "dark side" of the universe, focusing on dark matter and dark energy.
- It was launched on 1 July 2023.
- It is named after the Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria, who lived around 300 BC and founded the subject of geometry.
- The Euclid mission will make a 3D map of the universe (with time as the third dimension) by observing billions of galaxies out to 10 billion light-years across more than a third of the sky.
- It will reveal how dark energy has influenced the stretching and separation of matter over cosmic time.
- Spacecraft and instruments:
- The Euclid spacecraft is approximately 4.7 m tall and 3.7 m in diameter. It consists of two major components: the service module and the payload module.
- The payload module comprises a 1.2-m-diameter telescope and two scientific instruments: a visible-wavelength camera (the VISible instrument, VIS) and a near-infrared camera/spectrometer (the Near-Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer, NISP).
- The service module contains the satellite systems: electric power generation and distribution, attitude control, data processing electronics, propulsion, telecommand and telemetry, and thermal control.
- Orbit: Its operational orbit will be halo around a point known as the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 2 (L2), at an average distance of 1.5 million km beyond Earth’s orbit.
- Lifetime: Nominal mission lifetime is six years, with the possibility of extension (limited by the amount of cold gas used for propulsion).
What is Dark Energy?
- · Dark energy is the name given to the mysterious force that’s causing the rate of expansion of our universe to accelerate over time rather than to slow down.
- · It is now thought to make up 68% of everything in the universe.
- · It's not matter or energy in the conventional sense. It does not interact with electromagnetic forces and, therefore, cannot be observed directly.
Q1) What is Dark Matter?
Dark matter is the mysterious stuff that fills the universe but no one has ever seen.Dark matter makes up over 80% of all matter in the universe.Dark matter is completely invisible. It emits no light or energy and thus cannot be detected by conventional sensors and detectors.