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Images of the star-filled universe in Euclidean space inspire a mission to explore the mysterious "Dark Universe".
Europe Science & Health Technology

Images of the star-filled universe in Euclidean space inspire a mission to explore the mysterious “Dark Universe”.

On Tuesday, European astronomers unveiled the initial pictures captured by the recently launched Euclid space telescope. This telescope has been specifically engineered to unravel the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, which are believed to constitute 95% of the known universe.

The European Space Agency, in collaboration with NASA, announced that the recently captured images are the clearest of their kind. These images demonstrate the telescope’s impressive capability to observe billions of galaxies that are located up to 10 billion light years away.

ESA stated that the visuals encompassed four sections of the nearby universe, which consisted of 1,000 galaxies from the Perseus cluster, located only 240 million light years away, as well as over 100,000 galaxies dispersed in the backdrop.

According to scientists, the formation of large and structured objects like Perseus would only be possible if dark matter is present.

According to ESA’s science director Carole Mundell, we have a limited understanding of the universe, estimated to be only 5%. This refers to the observable matter.

She explained that the remaining parts of the universe are referred to as “dark” because they do not emit light in the usual electromagnetic spectrum. However, their presence is still observable through the impact they have on visible matter.

Indications of the concealed influence caused by dark matter involve galaxies spinning at a faster rate than what would be predicted based on the observable matter that is detectable.

According to Mundell, its impact is also involved in the formation of some of the largest structures in the cosmos, like groups of galaxies.

The mystery surrounding dark energy only deepens.

The idea of its existence was first confirmed in the 1990s through the examination of exploding stars known as supernovas. This led to a Nobel Prize being awarded in 2011 to three American scientists.

Utilizing data from the previous Hubble Space Telescope, researchers determined that the universe was not solely expanding, but rather expanding at an accelerated rate. This groundbreaking finding was credited to the introduction of the concept of dark energy.

Following the initial launch and troubleshooting, which included addressing issues with stray light and guidance, Euclid is now ready to begin constructing a three-dimensional map covering approximately one-third of the sky. Its purpose is to identify small changes that can be attributed to the mysterious dark universe.

Scientists aim to deepen their understanding of galaxies in the cosmic web of the universe by gaining new knowledge about dark energy and matter.

The pictures were made public in Darmstadt, Germany, at the same time as the second day of European space discussions in Spain, which focused on Europe’s ongoing reliance on outside launches.