Euclid ConsortiumEuclid and the origin of the accelerating universe

Euclid is an ESA medium class astronomy and astrophysics space mission. Euclid was selected by ESA in October 2011 (see the Euclid ESA page). Its launch is planned for 2020. In June 2012 ESA officially selected the “Euclid Consortium” as the single team having the scientific responsibility of the mission, the data production and of the scientific instruments.

The Euclid mission aims at understanding why the expansion of the Universe is accelerating and what is the nature of the source responsible for this acceleration which physicists refer to as dark energy. Dark energy represents around 75% of the energy content of the Universe today, and together with dark matter it dominates the Universes’ matter-energy content. Both are mysterious and of unknown nature but control the past, present and future evolution of Universe.

Euclid will explore how the Universe evolved over the past 10 billion years to address questions related to fundamental physics and cosmology on the nature and properties of dark energy, dark matter and gravity. Euclid will also provide insightful information on the physics of the early universe and on the initial conditions which seed the formation of cosmic structure.

The imprints of dark energy and gravity will be tracked by using two complementary cosmological probes to capture signatures of the expansion rate of the Universe and the growth of cosmic structures: Weak gravitational Lensing and Galaxy Clustering (Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations and Redshift Space Distortion).

To accomplish the Euclid mission ESA has selected Thales Alenia Space (see also the ESA press release ) for the construction of the satellite and its Service Module and Airbus (Defence and Space) for the Payload Module.

Euclid will be equipped with a 1.2 m diameter Silicon Carbide (SiC) mirror telescope made by Airbus (Defence and Space) feeding 2 instruments, VIS and NISP, built by the Euclid Consortium : a high quality panoramic visible imager (VIS), a near infrared 3-filter (Y, J and H) photometer (NISP-P) and a slitless spectrograph (NISP-S). With these instruments physicists will probe the expansion history of the Universe and the evolution of cosmic structures by measuring the modification of shapes of galaxies induced by gravitational lensing effects of dark matter and the 3-dimension distribution of structures from spectroscopic red­shifts of galaxies and clusters of galaxies.

The satellite will be launched by a Soyuz ST-2.1B rocket and then travel to the L2 Sun-Earth Lagrangian point for a 6 years mission.

Euclid will observe 15,000 deg2 of the darkest sky that is free of contamination by light from our Galaxy and our Solar System (see the ESA Euclid mission summary ). Three “Euclid Deep Fields” covering around 40 deg2 in total will be also observed extending the scientific scope of the mission the high-redshift universe.

The complete survey represents hundreds of thousands images and several tens of Petabytes of data. About 10 billion sources will be observed by Euclid out of which more than 1 billion will be used for weak lensing and several tens of million galaxy redshifts will be also measured and used for galaxy clustering. The scientific analysis and interpretation of these data is led by the scientists of the Euclid Consortium.

An artist view of the EUCLID Satellite exploring the dark Universe at the L2 Sun-Earth Lagrangian point - © ESA
An artist view of the Euclid Satellite – © ESA

Contact points: Yannick Mellier () and Frederic Magnard ().

Last update : Sep 1, 2017

Euclid ConsortiumAIfA Argelander Institut fur Astronomie Bonn AIM Astrophysique Instrumentation et Modelisation Saclay APC AstroParticules et Cosmologie  Paris ASI Italian Space Agency Universita di Bologna CAAUL Universidade de Lisboa Caltech Brera observatoryCanadian Astronomy Data Centre Carnegie Mellon University CAR University of Hertfordshire CEA/IRFU Centro de Astrofisica Universidade do Porto Centro de Estudios de Fisica del Cosmos de Aragon CNRS CCIN2P3 CENTRA Lisboa CNES French Space Agency CERN Cornell University CPPM Marseille Luminy Dalhousie University DLR German Space Agency DTU Technical University of Denmark Durham University EPFL Lausanne ESA European Space Agency ESO European Southern Observatory Finnish Centre for Astronomy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Harvard University IAC Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias IAP Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris IAS Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale Orsay Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica - Bologna Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation Imperial College London IEEC Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya IFAE Institut de Fisica d'Altes Energies Institute for Astronomy Edinburgh Institut fur Astrophysik Wien CNRS IN2P3 Institut Nationale de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des ParticulesNRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics INAF Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica INFN Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare CNRS INSU Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers Institute of Astronomy Cambridge Infrared Processing and Analysis Center IPNL Institut de Physique Nucleaire de Lyon IRAP Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie Toulouse CEA IRFU Institut de Recherche sur les lois Fondamendales de l'Univers Saclay ISDC Data Centre for Astrophysics Institute for Space Science Bucharest LMU Ludwig Maximilians Universitat Munchen IST Lisboa Johns Hopkins University Baltimore John Moores University Liverpool NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory King's College London LAM Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille LBL Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory LPNHE Laboratoire de Physique Nucleaire et des Hautes Energies Paris Observatoire de Paris Laboratoire Univers et Theories Meudon Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat MunchenCSIC Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas Spain MINECO Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad Spain Max Planck Institute for Astronomy Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics Munchen Max Planck Gesellschaft McGill University McMaster University NASA NOVA National Research School for Astronomy Leiden UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory NWO The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research Observatoire de Paris Omegacen Kapteyn Astronomical Institute Groningen OCA Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur Nice The Open University UKPerimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics PIC Port d'Informacio Centifica Barcelona Princeton University QUB Queen's University Belfast Royal Military College of Canada Saint Mary UniversitySmithsonian Astrophysical Observatory SISSA Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati Trieste Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa Space Science Center University of Copenhagen SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research Stanford University Target University of Groningen Aarhus University Aix Marseille Universite Universidad Autonomia de MadridUniversity of British Columbia University of California Berkeley University of California Irvine Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena The University of Chicago University College London University of California Davis Universita Degli Studi Firenze University of Florida Universite de Geneve Faculte des Sciences University of Hawaii at Manoa Universitat Heidelberg University of Groningen Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics University of Oslo STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre Leiden University The University of ManchesterUMASS University of Massachusetts Hamherst UMKC University of Missouri Kansas City Universite de Namur The University of Nottingham University of Oklahoma Universita Napoli Frederic II University of Oxford UPenn University of Pennsylvania Universite Pierre et Marie Curie Paris Universita Roma Tre University of Helsinki University of Southampton University of Sussex The University of Texas at Austin The University of Toronto Universita di TriesteUniversity of Victoria University of Waterloo Yale UniversityYork University University of Zurich University of Turku