On July 1st, the European space mission EUCLID was launched from Cape Canaveral. The telescope will explore space trying to obtain more data about dark energy.
The mission is named after the Greek mathematician Euclid, who is famously known for its contribution to geometry. But what does geometry have to do with a mission that will explore the universe? Density of matter and energy is linked to the geometry of the universe.
The universe is surrounded by dark matter and dark energy, but we know very little about it since it’s invisible to our eyes. We know the universe may be composed of 25% dark matter and up to 70% dark energy. ESA’s mission has the objective to collect data about both, to study it, and to try to understand it (and use it in our favor).
Understanding dark matter and dark energy is important since dark energy influences the acceleration of the expansion of the universe and dark matter in the growth of cosmic structures. With the telescope, we may be able to see how the universe expanded, as well as identify and characterize the role of dark matter and energy. The instrument that will allow engineers and scientists to collect data is a 1.2 m diameter telescope composed of a VIS (Visible-wavelength) camera and a near-infrared camera/spectrometer (NISP, Near-infrared spectrometer and photometer).
Euclid is a project built by Thales Alenia, Airbus Defence and Space, the 4.7 m tall, 3.7 diameter and 2-ton spacecraft apart from its Payload (the telescope) has an electric power system, altitude control, data processing electronics, propulsion, thermal control, telecommand, and telemetry modules that will be operating at the Lagrange Point 2 (1.5 million kilometers away from earth) for at least 6 years.
The long-awaited journey of Euclid has started, and we’ll be looking forward to receiving the data that will allow us to understand the universe better.