The European Space Agency reported on July 8 that Italy’s Thales Alenia Space will begin the full industrial phase of the construction process for the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission, which is scheduled to launch in 2020. Euclid will explore the distribution and evolution of the dark energy and dark matter in the universe.
Euclid will orbit the sun 1.5 million km beyond Earth for a period of five years, surveying the extra galactic sky, which makes up about 40% of the sky excluding the Milky Way. The main purpose of the mission is to explore the roles played by dark matter—which plays a vital part in forming galaxies and the slowing of the expansion of the universe—as well as dark energy, which in contrast, causes force that overcomes gravity and is accelerating the expansion of the universe, according to Space Daily.
In order to learn more about the “dark universe,” Euclid will map the distribution of dark energy and dark matter by taking measurements of billions of distant galaxies using a technique called “gravitational lensing,” which will effectively allow the satellite to look back in time about 10 billion years, according to SatNews.
Euclid will carry a visible-light camera and near-infrared camera to map the 3D distribution of these galaxies to create a map of dark matter. The cameras will be powered by e2VCCD image sensors that will be large area back illuminated sensors optimized for 550-920n.
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