Euclid telescope ready for extreme space environment

In order to prove that Euclid can accurately perform its observations, the sky was simulated in the thermal vacuum chamber to recreate on-orbit observation condition. This simulator, shown in the picture inside the vacuum chamber is a ‘collimator’ that projects test star sources in the Euclid telescope as if Euclid was observing them from an infinite distance like in space. Credit: ESA

ESA’s Euclid mission has reached a new milestone in its development with successful testing of the telescope and instruments showing that it can operate and achieve the required performance in the extreme environment of space.

Euclid will study dark energy and dark matter. Whilst these cannot be seen directly by any telescope, their presence and influence can be inferred by observing the large scale distribution of galaxies in the universe.

It has long been known that the universe is expanding as measurements of distant galaxies show them moving away from us. The expansion, along with the growth of cosmic structures such as galaxy superclusters, are influenced by dark energy and dark matter, but scientists don’t fully understand these phenomena yet.

Euclid will image billions of galaxies with unprecedented accuracy out to a distance of ten billion light-years. The survey will cover more than a third of the night sky (celestial sphere). These measurements will enable astronomers to improve their understanding of the expansion history of the universe and the growth rate of cosmic structures.

Euclid has two instruments provided by two consortia of European scientific institutes: the VISible imager (VIS) and the Near Infrared Spectrometer and…

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