February 20, 2024

Euclid will leave on July 1 to explore the dark side of the universe

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced via Twitter, Wednesday (21), the launch of the European Euclid Space Telescope from the United States in an attempt to uncover two great mysteries in the universe, namely dark matter and dark energy. .

The satellite, which will leave Cape Canaveral, Florida, will carry a Falcon 9 rocket from the American company SpaceX.

Designed by Thales Alenia Space, the two-ton satellite measures 4.7 meters high and 3.5 meters long and will be located near the James Webb Space Telescope, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

From the so-called Lagrangian point 2, Euclid – named after the father of geometry, the Greek Euclid – will present a three-dimensional map of the universe, which will include two billion galaxies, covering a third of the celestial vault and travel back in time to 10 billion years ago.

These unprecedented maps aim to reconstruct the history of the universe “in fractions of time,” astrophysicist Yannick Millier, of the Euclid Union, explained at a press conference on June 13.

The idea is to better understand dark matter and dark energy, which make up 95% of the universe, but whose nature is completely unknown.

Both are invisible and, so far, purely theoretical, but scientists need these components to understand the universe.

The hypothesis is that dark matter will act as cement inside galaxies, which would explain why it is not so prevalent in star clouds. Dark energy is essential to explain the accelerating expansion of the universe.

With this mission, astronomers hope to learn more about how both function and evolve over time.

© AFP