The European Space Agency (ESA) successfully launched into space this Saturday euclid telescope from the station Cape Canaveral in Florida (USA), that will have the mission of create a larger and more accurate 3D map of the universe and meet What galaxies were like 10 billion years ago.

At 11:12 a.m. (5:12 p.m. Spanish peninsular time), the telescope already taken off the ground aboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket and is already heading to its destination in space. Euclid will observe billions of galaxies until distances of 10,000 million light years, precisely measuring the position and shapes of galaxies in visible light and inferring their distances, as indicated by the Institute of Astrophysics (IAC) in a statement.

Euclid will help us explore how has the universe expanded and how its structure has formed throughout cosmic history, which may reveal more about the role of gravity and the nature of dark energy and dark matter», the ICE-CSIC, IEEC researcher and member of the board of directors of the Euclid Consortium, explained in statements to the media. Francisco Castander.

According to current models, these dark components represent about 95% matter content and energy of the universe, and substitution to motion and the distribution of visible sources, like galaxies, although they do not emit or absorb light. For this reason, science has not yet been able to determine what they are.

The role of Spain

Spain has formed part of the Consortium that has promoted the mission from its origin and has participated in instrumental development of the project and will contribute to scientific exploitation.

So, several Spanish institutions, among which is the IAC, have worked for more than 11 years in this mission. The Institute has collaborated in the design, construction and validation of the control electronics of one of its two instruments on board.

Combining sensitivity, spatial resolution, data homogeneity Euclid spectral information is intended to be of utility for many areas of astrophysics.

«Mission data provided a extraordinary legacy This will allow us to expand our knowledge about the formation and evolution of galaxies and, in particular, of the less luminous stars of the Milky Way», points out the director of the IAC and also a member of the board of directors of the Euclid Consortium, Rafael Rebolo.

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After a month of space travel, the telescope will reach its destination to orbit at the second Lagrange point (L2) of the Sun-Earth system, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth in the opposite direction to the Sun.

There, Euclid will capture solar energy to stock up on energy and at the same time point your telescope into deep space. Next for about two months, carrying out different tests to verify that all their components my instruments they work right. Finally, three months after taking off from him, Euclid will begin to mapping the dark universe during the six years that the mission is expected to last.