The Euclid telescope, also known as the “dark universe” telescope, took the first full-color pictures of space.
“We’ve never seen astronomical images like this with so much detail.” – described the pictures of the mission participant Rene Laureis, reports Space.com.
According to astronomers, the photos show previously invisible features of even some deeply studied space objects.
Scientists now say that the telescope is ready to make a map “the dark, invisible side of our universe“.
In particular, the telescope should reveal the secrets of dark matter by studying billions of galaxies that are up to 10 billion light-years away from Earth.
So, the first 5 pictures of the Euclid telescope show:
The “Hidden Galaxy” or IC 342 is located approximately 11 million light years from Earth.
Its name is related to the fact that it is located behind the disc of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and is usually covered by cosmic gas, dust, and stars.
According to astronomers, IC 342 is a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way.
Since our own galaxy is difficult to explore and we can only see it from the edge, studying IC 342 could help scientists learn more about the Milky Way.
In particular, the new details discovered by Euclid can help trace the history and evolution of stars, noted researcher from the National Institute of Astrophysics in Italy Leslie Hunt.
“Thanks to the picture, we have a wide view of the entire galaxy. You can also zoom in to see individual stars and star clusters“, Hunt added.
Old and new galaxies in the Perseus cluster
The image taken by the telescope shows more than 1,000 galaxies glowing in the constellation Perseus, which is located approximately 240 million light-years from Earth.
According to astronomers, the cluster of galaxies surrounded by superheated gas is considered one of the most massive cosmic structures in the universe.
In the photo, the large galaxies of this cluster can be seen by their yellowish-white halos, similar to street lamps on a foggy night.
About 100,000 other galaxies are also visible in the image. They are marked with white, yellow and red spots.
“Thanks to a telescope, we can see them and make sure once again that they really do exist in as large numbers as predicted“, – said the French researcher Jean-Charles Couyland.
Pink stars in Bernard’s Galaxy
Bernard’s Galaxy, or NGC 6822, is located 1.6 million light-years from Earth.
According to scientists, NGC 6822 is the first irregular galaxy observed by the Euclid telescope.
Although the galaxy is part of the same galaxy cluster as the Milky Way, it contains elements of heavy metals that are not normally found in young, still-forming galaxies.
Stars in NGC 6397
The telescope captured the globular cluster of stars NGC 6397. They are connected by a single force of gravity, as a result of which they rotate in the disk of the Milky Way at a distance of about 7800 light years from Earth.
It is expected that with the help of Euclid’s photo, astronomers will be able to detect a tidal tail – an elongated stream of stars and interstellar dust formed by the mutual gravity of two galaxies.
Horse Head Nebula
In the fifth image, the telescope filmed the Horsehead Nebula, which is located approximately 1,500 light-years from Earth in the Orion constellation.
The photo shows that the star Sigma Orion is located above the Horse’s Head and out of the field of view of the telescope, emitting ultraviolet radiation, causing the cosmic dust around it to glow.
According to astronomers, the head of Horsehead itself appears dark because its thick hydrogen clouds block the background light.
The clouds around the nebula have already dissipated, and the Horse’s Head pillar will collapse in 5 million years, astronomers say.
Using Euclid’s capabilities, scientists hope to spot many dim, young, and previously unseen Jupiter-like planets in this region.
Earlier we reported that NASA showed new pictures of the universe, created with the help of several telescopes.
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