On Tuesday, researchers revealed the initial images captured by the Euclid telescope from Europe, a dazzling and breathtaking compilation of galaxies that are unquantifiable in number.
The European Space Agency unveiled the photos four months after the telescope was launched from Cape Canaveral.
The Hubble Space Telescope and other telescopes have previously captured images of these cosmic landscapes, but Euclid’s photos stand out for their high-resolution and expansive coverage of the sky, offering a unique glimpse into the far reaches of the universe.
Euclid took a photograph that included 1,000 galaxies in a cluster located 240 million light-years away. The photo also featured over 100,000 galaxies that are billions of light-years away. One light-year is equivalent to 5.8 trillion miles.
“The galaxy cluster is absolutely stunning,” exclaimed Carole Mundell, the science director of the space agency, as she displayed the image on a large screen at the control center in Germany.
Mundell stated that Euclid’s sensitive instruments have been able to detect even the faintest galaxies, previously invisible to the naked eye. The resulting images provide a clear and breathtaking view into the past of the universe.
The telescope captured images of a spiral galaxy that is similar to our own Milky Way and is relatively nearby. While the Hubble Space Telescope had previously observed the center of this galaxy, Euclid’s shot shows that star formation is occurring throughout the entire region, according to scientists.
Euclid snapped new images of the Horsehead Nebula, located in the Orion constellation, which is a well-known birthplace of young stars, thanks to the Hubble telescope. It only took Euclid one hour to capture the stunning new photos, which were taken during less than a full day of observation.
Astronomers aim to gain insight into the mysterious dark energy and matter, which account for 95% of the universe, by observing the form and motion of galaxies located up to 10 billion light-years away.
Over the next six years, the observatory will conduct a survey of billions of galaxies and produce the most extensive 3D map of the universe to date. NASA is collaborating on the $1.5 billion project and provided the telescope’s infrared detectors.
Euclid was sent into orbit in July and is currently located 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) away from Earth, circling the sun. The telescope is named after a renowned mathematician from ancient Greece.
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