Image of the Horsehead Nebula taken by the Euclid space satellite

Euclid Releases First Full-Colour Images of the Cosmos

ESA’s Euclid mission reveals first images, offering unprecedented insights into the Universe’s dark matter and dark energy

On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, ESA revealed the first full-color images of the cosmos from the Euclid space mission. These images, which are the sharpest and deepest ever taken over such a large area of the sky, will provide scientists with valuable insights into the dark matter and dark energy that make up most of the Universe.

Image of the Horsehead Nebula taken by the Euclid space satellite
Horsehead Nebula, taken by the Euclid space telescope. Credits: ESA


Euclid Unveiled: A Detailed Look at How It Works

Euclid is a space telescope designed to study the dark Universe. It was launched on July 1, 2023, and is currently orbiting the Sun-Earth Lagrange point 2. Euclid is equipped with two scientific instruments: the Visible Instrument (VIS) and the Near-Infrared Spectrophotometer and Imager (NISP). VIS is a wide-field camera that will capture images of billions of galaxies across one-third of the sky. While NISP is a spectrometer and imager that will observe the shapes and distances of galaxies, as well as the distribution of dark matter.

Euclid’s images are created by collecting light from cosmic objects and focusing it onto a detector. The detector is a grid of pixels, and each pixel records the intensity of light at a specific wavelength. By combining the images from different wavelengths, scientists can create full-color images of the cosmos. Euclid’s first images are the result of months of testing and calibration. The images are incredibly sharp and deep, revealing many previously unseen features.

Euclid space satellite being assembled
Euclid space telescope being assembled. Credits: ESA/CNES/Arianespace


Euclid’s First Images: a Closer Look

One of the most striking things about Euclid’s first images is their level of detail. The images show galaxies in exquisite detail, with individual stars and gas clouds clearly visible. Another important feature of the images is their size. Euclid’s wide-field camera allows it to image a large area of the sky in a single observation.

The first images from Euclid represent a significant milestone for the mission. They demonstrate that Euclid is functioning well and is capable of producing high-quality images of the cosmos. The images also provide scientists with a wealth of new information about the Universe. Five stunning full-view images have been released by ESA. Here we report the two most incredible.

Perseus galaxy cluster, taken by the Euclid space satellite
Perseus galaxy cluster, taken by the Euclid space telescope. Credits: ESA

This remarkable image captured by Euclid marks a revolutionary moment in astronomy. It features 1000 galaxies within the Perseus Cluster, as well as an additional 100,000 galaxies situated even farther in the background.

Astronomers have demonstrated that galaxy clusters like Perseus could only have formed if dark matter is a fundamental component of the Universe. Euclid’s observations of various galaxy clusters, including Perseus, throughout cosmic history will unveil the role of this enigmatic “dark” element in binding them together.

IC 342 Galaxy, captured by Euclid. Credits: ESA
IC 342 Galaxy, captured by Euclid. Credits: ESA

The Galaxy Caldwell 5 (IC 342), presents a challenge for observation due to its position behind the bustling disk of our Milky Way. The presence of dust, gas, and stars obscures our view. Euclid, however, has overcome these obstacles to capture this stunning, high-resolution image. This achievement is largely attributed to Euclid’s remarkable sensitivity and exceptional optics.

IC 342 is located around 11 million light-years from Earth, and as a spiral galaxy, it is considered a look-alike of the Milky Way

Euclid’s Breakthrough: New Perspectives on Dark Matter and Dark Energy

The news of the success of the first images of Euclid represents a significant step forward in our understanding of the Universe. These images not only confirm the functionality and effectiveness of Euclid, but also open new avenues for future research. The detailed and high-quality images provided by Euclid will allow scientists to explore the Universe in ways previously impossible, offering an unprecedented view of the distribution of galaxies and dark matter.

In particular scientists will study the influence of dark matter and dark energy on the evolution of the visible Universe. To do so, Euclid will observe the shapes, distances and motions of billions of galaxies out to 10 billion light-years, creating the largest cosmic 3D map ever made.


Federico Airoldi

Federico Airoldi

Coder, developer and content creator. I am dedicated to spreading my love of space exploration and inspiring others to join me in the pursuit of new frontiers. Page owner of Airo_spaceflight.

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