ESA’s Euclid snaps dazzling new images of the universe

The Euclid space telescope has turned its gaze to various objects in space, giving scientists a deeper view into the cosmos and its mysteries.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed a batch of new images taken by Euclid, the organisation’s ambitious space mission to probe the mysteries of the universe.

The agency has shared five stunning new views of the cosmos, to demonstrate the telescope’s ability to peer deep into the universe and survey distant objects to further our understanding of space phenomena.

These images are part of Euclid’s Early Release Observations and are accompanied by the mission’s first scientific data, which is also being made public today (23 May). The ESA said this data will be followed by 10 forthcoming science papers.

The full set of early observations targeted 17 astronomical objects, from nearby clouds of gas and dust to distant clusters of galaxies. The ESA claims the images obtained by Euclid are at least four times sharper than those taken from ground-based telescopes.

The images are visually stunning but serve a more important purpose than eye candy. The data contained in these images are expected to reveal new physical properties of the universe thanks to Euclid’s unique observing capabilities.

These images are being revealed ahead of Euclid’s main survey, which aims to uncover the secrets of the dark cosmos and reveal how and why the universe looks the way it does today.

“Euclid demonstrates European excellence in frontier science and state-of-the-art technology, and showcases the importance of international collaboration,” said ESA director general Josef Aschbacher. “The mission is the result of many years of hard work from scientists, engineers and industry throughout Europe and from members of the Euclid scientific consortium around the world, all brought together by ESA.

“They can be proud of this achievement – the results are no small feat for such an ambitious mission and such complex fundamental science. Euclid is at the very beginning of its exciting journey to map the structure of the universe.”

The ESA said Euclid produced this early catalogue in a single day and revealed more than 11m objects in visible light and 5m in infrared light.

Euclid was blasted into space by the powerful SpaceX Falcon 9 on 1 July 2023 after being worked on for more than a decade. The telescope is located in the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 2, where the powerful James Webb Space Telescope is also located.

Details on the stunning new images released today can be found on the Euclid section of the ESA website.

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