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Euclid Space Telescope: Launching on July 1st, 2023

Credits: ESA/C. Carreau via NASA

Euclid, the space telescope designed to explore the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, is scheduled for launch. The European Space Agency (ESA) and SpaceX have targeted 11:12 a.m. EDT (17:12 CEST, 15:12 UTC) on Saturday, July 1st, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to launch the ESA’s Euclid mission. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, a backup launch date has been set for Saturday, 1 July, 2023.

The mission aims to transport Euclid to the Earth-Sun Lagrange point 2 (L2) using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. L2 is a special location approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth where the telescope will be positioned to conduct observations without interference, providing optimal conditions for capturing high-quality data.

Euclid, equipped with a 1.2-meter telescope and advanced instruments, including a visible light camera and an infrared camera/spectrometer, will embark on its mission to produce a comprehensive three-dimensional map of the universe. By observing billions of galaxies up to 10 billion light-years away, Euclid will provide valuable insights into the universe’s expansion, the formation of large-scale structures, and the characteristics of dark matter and dark energy.

Euclid Logo. Source: ESA

The launch of Euclid represents a significant milestone in our quest to understand the universe. Scientists and researchers from over 300 institutes and 21 countries are collaborating on this ambitious project, with the total cost exceeding 1 billion euros. The observational data collected by Euclid will be analyzed in nine separate Euclid science data centers, ensuring rigorous scientific analysis and collaboration.

The Finnish scientists have played a pivotal role in the Euclid mission, contributing to developing computing methods, simulated data generation, and data quality assurance. They also hold expertise in combining observations made from Earth with Euclid’s space-based data, providing a comprehensive approach to understanding the universe’s structure.

Following the launch, Euclid will commence its measurements three months later, with the first measurement period lasting one year. Subsequently, a 14-month analysis phase will be dedicated to extracting valuable insights from the collected data. Scientists anticipate that the first results from the Euclid project will be available by the end of 2025, offering exciting prospects for advancing our understanding of dark matter, dark energy, and the cosmic evolution.

With the upcoming launch of Euclid, the scientific community eagerly anticipates the unveiling of the universe’s dark secrets and the transformative discoveries that lie ahead.

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