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Dark Matter Exploration: Launching the ESA “Euclid” Probe into Space

Dark Matter Exploration: Launching the ESA “Euclid” Probe into Space

The probe is taking a look into the past of the universe using a high-resolution telescope. The researchers expect an “unprecedentedly huge amount of data”.

The European probe “Euclid” was launched to study dark matter and dark energy into space. A European Space Agency (ESA) plane took off on Saturday from the US Cape Canaveral Spaceport aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from the US company SpaceX, as seen in live images.

Using a high-resolution telescope, Euclid will take a look at the past of the universe and explore its evolution over the past 10 billion years. You also aim to create a 3D map where time is the third dimension. In total, data will be collected on billions of galaxies.

Euclid flies about 1.5 million kilometers into space. It will take about a month to get there. After several tests, the mission, which costs around 1.4 billion euros, should start in October. The probe will initially be used for six years.

“a huge amount of new information”

With the help of Euclid, the researchers want to see the expansion of the universe and understand how individual structures form. From this they want to draw conclusions about dark matter and dark energy.

Giuseppe Racca, mission officer at the European Space Agency, hypothesizes that Euclid will provide an enormous amount of new information. “I predict that Euclid will flood the scientific community with an unprecedentedly massive amount of data.”

Detailed map of the sky

The mission, which has a cost of about 1.4 billion euros, is an entirely European project being carried out with support from NASA. According to the European Space Agency, about 3,500 people from 21 European countries, the USA, Canada and Japan are taking part. Two Austrian space companies and two research teams of Tim Schrabak and Francine Marlowe from the University of Innsbruck are taking part.

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The goal is to create a map of the sky beyond our home galaxy as detailed as possible. With new data on the effects of great mass distortion, researchers around the world hope to learn more about the elusive dark matter and dark energy. Euclid is the European Space Agency’s second major space mission this year. “JUpiter ICy moons Explorer” (JUICE) was launched in April. (APA/DSPA)