Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Europe sets out to explore the "dark side" of the Universe
The European Space Agency (ESA) has given the green light to the Euclid mission to be launched in 2020 with the aim to study the mysterious dark energy that makes up 73% of the universe. The Euclid mission will feature a 1.2-meter telescope that will nourish a chamber diameter of 576 million pixels with very high resolution images of galaxies 2,000 million, equivalent to the Hubble telescope.
With these data, and using infrared technology, scientists will develop a mapping of large structures in the universe and measure the distance between galaxies captured by the camera.
"Getting this far has required much hard work, but now we have a solid blueprint for a telescope likely to provide very precise measurements that will shed light on the nature of dark energy," he said in a statement the project manager Euclid, Yannick Mellier.
More than 1,000 scientists participating in the mission, approved by the Scientific Program Committee of ESA, try to figure out why the universe's expansion rate increases, rather than slowing, a discovery that dates back to 1998, said Space Agency Europe.
The observation of galaxies away from each other confirmed the Big Bang theory, and experts have noted that this separation occurs increasingly faster, something "unthinkable" in the present state of science, he said, for his , the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) French.
That discovery, in 2011 which earned them the Nobel Prize in Physics to Saul Perlmutter, Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt for their cosmological observations, is what the second half of 2020 is preparing to study Euclid. The "engine" of this acceleration appears to be the dark energy is still not understood, much less understood than dark matter.
"The formal adoption of the mission is a milestone for the scientific community," said the head of ESA's Science, Spanish Alvaro Giménez Cañete.
The science of Euclid "constitute a unique catalog of several billions of stars and galaxies distributed throughout the sky on either side of the Milky Way," the CNES.
"That will open a window on the formation of the first galaxies more than 12,000 million years and represent an almost inexhaustible source of unique information for the world astronomical community for decades to come," he added.
From now on, ESA prepares the contest for companies involved in aerospace technology to present their bids to develop the software required for Euclid.
"We are one step closer to knowing the darkest secrets of the Universe", summed Laureijs René, one of the scientists involved in the project europeo.EFE
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