Euclid’s broad view of the universe

Euclid’s broad view of the universe

Euclid wide view moon overlay

This figure shows an overlay of an image of the Moon over an image of the sky recorded simultaneously by 36 detectors of Euclid’s VIS instrument. The VIS image was acquired in a single shot during the first months of testing the spacecraft. He explains that the area of ​​the sky that Euclid can observe within one point of the telescope is larger than the area of ​​the full moon. The aperture angle of the moon’s diameter is about 0.5 degrees. Euclid’s gaze captures in a single observation a square area of ​​the sky about 0.7 x 0.7 degrees. Image credit: ESA/ESA/Euclid/Euclid Consortium/NASA, S. Brunier, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Euclid, ESA’s dark universe explorer, launched on July 1, 2023. It recently showed off the first stunning full-color images of the universe, and boasts powerful imaging capabilities thanks to its unique optics.

Telescope and imaging technology

The Euclid Telescope and its optics are specially designed to capture a large view of the sky in a single shot. This feature is vital to its mission, which aims to map more than a third of the celestial sphere with high sensitivity over a time frame of six years.

Compare images and coverage

The accompanying figure shows an overlay of an image of the Moon over an image of the sky captured simultaneously by 36 detectors of Euclid’s VIS instrument. This image, captured in a single shot during the spacecraft’s early testing phase, demonstrates Euclid’s ability to cover an area larger than the full moon in just one telescope aim. The Moon has a diameter of about 0.5°, while Euclid can observe a square area of ​​sky of about 0.7 x 0.7° in a single observation.

VIS and NISP devices

To achieve this expanded coverage, VIS is equipped with 36 CCDs (charge-coupled devices, a type of camera sensor), arranged in a 6 x 6 grid; Each sensor has more than 4000 x 4000 pixels. The NIPS instrument is equipped with a 4×4 grid of near-infrared sensors that each have a resolution of more than 2,000 x 2,000 pixels. While VIS measures the shapes of galaxies, NISP measures their brightness (and how it changes with wavelengths), requiring fewer detector arrays with larger pixels.

Euclid is the only telescope that can currently observe such a large area of ​​sky in a single sitting at this intensity, in visible and near-infrared light.

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