Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Mystery of universe which has baffled scientists for 100 years on brink of being solved

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024

Europe’s Euclid telescope has beamed back the largest images of the universe ever captured from space, in its mission to decode the mysteries of the cosmos, and could solve the mystery of dark matter, which has baffled scientists since it was theorised in 1933.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has unveiled five images that offer an unprecedented detailed view of vast new areas of the sky, providing a thrilling peek into the distant cosmic past.

Dr Michelle Collins, from the University of Surrey, who assisted the Euclid team in identifying potential new galaxies in the images, said: “These stunning first images are just the tip of the iceberg. This telescope can reveal millions of new objects in a single day. We’re only just beginning to realise its potential.”

The newly released images showcase two galaxy clusters known as Abell 2764 and Abell 2390, a group of galaxies referred to as the Dorado, a spiral galaxy named NGC 6744, and a vibrant stellar nursery known as Messier 78.

Messier 78 is the closest location merely 1,300 light years away from Earth, while Abell 2390 is the furthest at 2.7 billion light years away in the constellation of Pegasus.

It is hoped that data from Euclid will illuminate two of the universe’s greatest enigmas: dark energy and dark matter.

Dark matter consists of particles that do not absorb, reflect, or emit light, while dark energy is thought to be driving galaxies apart, causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate.

Caroline Harper, the head of space science at the UK Space Agency, stated: “A key part of our purpose as a space agency is to understand more about the universe, what it’s made of and how it works. There is no better example of this than the Euclid mission we know that most of universe is made up of invisible dark matter and dark energy, but we don’t really understand what it is, or how it affects the way the universe is evolving.”

Astronomers have revealed that the images captured by Euclid are at least four times sharper than those taken using ground-based telescopes.

Dr Rebecca Bowler, Ernest Rutherford Fellow at the University of Manchester, added: “What is amazing is that these images cover an area of less than 1% of the full deep observations, showing that we expect to detect thousands of early galaxies in the next few years with Euclid, which will be revolutionary in understanding how and when galaxies formed after the Big Bang.”

In total, Euclid has so far churned out more than 11 million objects in visible light and another five million in infrared light. One of the mission’s goals, which kicked off in July 2023, is to craft a 3D map of the universe by observing two billion galaxies, aiding scientists in unravelling its cosmic history.

Dr Valeria Pettorino, Euclid project scientist at the ESA, stated: “Euclid is a unique, ground-breaking mission, and these are the first datasets to be made public it’s an important milestone. The images and associated science findings are impressively diverse in terms of the objects and distances observed.

“They include a variety of science applications, and yet represent a mere 24 hours of observations. They give just a hint of what Euclid can do. We are looking forward to six more years of data to come.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Mystery of universe which has baffled scientists for 100 years on brink of being solved”
  1. What impact could the discovery of dark energy and dark matter have on our understanding of the universe?

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