Artist’s impression of the Euclid mission in space. Credits: ESA.
The mission will be launched on July 1 and will observe more than a billion galaxies 10 billion light years away, to create a 3D map of the Universe and thus try to reveal one of the greatest mysteries of astronomy and science.
The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the Euclid space telescope is already scheduled for liftoff on July 1 and will be in orbit for six years. Its main mission will be to shed light on dark matter and dark energy for further study.
The takeoff into the cosmos of the Euclid mission will take place through the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States.
Initially, the 1.4 billion euro mission planned to use the Russian Soyuz rocket, however, after the sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow decided to withdraw its launchers from the mission. To that extent, the space agency had to turn to SpaceX, a company of American billionaire Elon Musk, which would explain its takeoff location.
ESA announced via Twitter that a live broadcast of the rocket launch will take place on July 1 from 15:30 BST .
The space telescope has a weight of two tons, a height of 4.7 meters and a width of 3.5 meters. This will accompany the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, at a point called the second Earth-Sun Lagrangian point.
The Euclid mission was designed in order to gain a deeper understanding of the dark side of the Universe. Based on the composition of the cosmos, the rotation of galaxies and the constant expansion of the universe, experts say that two invisible entities dominate the cosmos, called dark matter and dark energy.
According to scientists, the Earth, the Milky Way and even the observed distant galaxies only represent 5% of the universe, the rest being 25% dark matter and 70% dark energy.
Despite this, its existence is based on inferences regarding its effects in the universe, since none of them have been directly detected to date.
For this reason, it is sought with the Euclid to create a 3D map of the Universe, with the third dimension representing time itself. This would give the possibility of observing billions of galaxies at a distance of 10 billion light years, thus tracing the position and speed of galaxies over immense distances. At the same time, taking a look at the past and history of the cosmos, since the further away a galaxy is, the later its light reaches us and, consequently, the further into the past we are looking.
Thanks to the large amount of data that the space telescope will deliver, astronomers will be able to support their deductions regarding the properties of dark energy and dark matter with more precision than ever, better defining their nature.