After leaving in July, the European mission published the first five photos on Tuesday. The opportunity to see that their tools are working perfectly.
Everything is going well for Euclid. Before focusing fully on its core work, namely studying dark matter and dark energy, the European space mission made its news by publishing the first images on Tuesday, November 7. Lots of pictures proving that his tools work perfectly.
>> Space: Understanding everything related to the secrets of dark matter and dark energy that the European Euclid mission began to study
these pictures “It is more beautiful and accurate than we had hoped, as it shows us many details that we did not see in known areas in our neighborhood.”“, said Rene Lorig, a member of the Euclid science team, in a press release. France Info brings you what these images show.
The Perseus galaxy group, one of the largest groups in the universe
The Perseus galaxy group, which is located very far from Earth (about 250 million light-years), “He is one of the greatest in the universe”Note to franceinfo by Giuseppe Racca, project manager on the Euclid mission. “This is the first time we can capture this entire mass with just one exposure.”He confirms that this means a shot. The previous images in this collection were compilations of several visual elements.
“We can see in this image about 1,000 galaxies belonging to the Perseus group.”, comments Giuseppe Racca. Behind it, many other small galaxies can be seen. He adds that these regions are very far away, reaching 10 billion light-years from Earth. In all, mission scientists counted 100,000 small galaxies in this image.
The Horsehead Nebula, sharper than ever
This nebula is located in our galaxy, in the Orion constellation, about 1,600 light-years away. Although it’s easy to spot and already very famous, Michael says he was moved when he discovered this photo. “I’ve never seen it so clear.”“, refers to franceinfo.
In the mass of gas and dust, there is a particularly bright area that attracts attention, at the bottom left of the image. “Often, nebulae are gases ejected by a dying star that will contribute to the formation of new stars. Nebulae are therefore the places where stars are born.”“, explains Michael Kahn. He summarizes that a violent event on a star sends shock waves through the gases. The circle of light visible in the image therefore results from the propagation of these shock waves.
Globular cluster NGC 6397, a ‘cemetery’ of stars
This globular cluster is located in our Milky Way Galaxy, about 7,800 light-years from Earth. It consists of about 400,000 stars, according to Hey (European Southern Observatory). according to Paris Institute of AstrophysicsThe cluster NGC 6397 could reside at its core “graveyard’ Who are the stars” And “An invisible concentration of mass consisting mainly of black holes.”.
The image produced by Euclid is much more detailed than those taken in 2004 and 2005 by the Euclid Observatory. Hubble Space Telescope. If this venerable and essential instrument had indeed examined the center of NGC 6397 in detail, observing its surroundings in depth would require a lot of time. The project team asserts that with Euclid, this can be done in just one hour.
Galaxy IC 342 is a hidden galaxy
Galaxy IC 342 is a spiral galaxy, like our own. Also called Caldwell 5, IC 342 is located close to the Milky Way. It is extremely luminous, yet cannot be observed from Earth: it is obscured by the light emanating from the central plane of our galaxy and ours. “galactic lamp”. That’s why it’s called “Hidden Galaxy”. He says that if it had not been placed like this, it would have been one of the brightest planets in Earth’s sky Hubble team.
Despite being hidden, IC 342 enjoys a certain popularity among astronomers. It was the subject of featured images on NASA’s blog 2013, 2016, 2019 And 2022. No wonder, then, that she was one of the first people to be depicted by Euclid.
Dwarf galaxy 6822 neighboring the Milky Way
NGC 6822, also called the Barnard Galaxy, is located 1.6 million light-years from Earth. Described as a dwarf and irregular galaxy, this galaxy adjacent to the Milky Way is characterized by strong activity. Areas that appear in purple in the image “Detecting active star formation regions, where hot young stars heat nearby gas clouds.”to explain Hey During a previous publication of an image of NGC 6822, in 2009. Barnard’s Galaxy was recently observed: James Webb Space Telescope teams An image was revealed on September 23And another in August.
The peculiarity of the James Webb Telescope lies in its ability to point its instruments at a very precise area of the sky and see a very long distance. For his part, Euclid excelled at surveying the sky on a very large scale.
These images quoted by Euclid are rare. Unfortunately, we should not get used to admiring the images of this mission, because its primary purpose is not to produce them. In fact, the objects studied by Euclid – distant galaxies undergoing distortion – are not generally aesthetically pleasing, admits Giuseppe Racca. The most important thing to remember from these first images is that Euclid’s instruments work very well, and thus may help radically change cosmology. “Now we are ready to observe billions of galaxies and study their evolution over cosmic time.”enthuses René Lorigs, a member of Euclid’s scientific team.
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