Thursday, February 23, 2012
IPAC Astronomy Lunch Seminar
ESAs mission to map the geometry of the dark Universe
Rene Laureijs, ESA
Euclid is a sky survey mission developed and operated by ESA and is designed to understand the origin of the Universe's accelerating expansion. Euclid will use cosmological probes to investigate the nature of dark energy, dark matter and gravity by tracking their observational signatures on the geometry of the universe and on the cosmic history of structure formation. The mission is optimised for the measurement of two independent cosmological probes: weak gravitational lensing and galaxy clustering. The payload consists of a 1.2 m Korsch Telescope designed to provide a large field of view. The light is directed to two instruments provided by the Euclid Consortium: a visual imager (VIS) and a near-infrared spectrometer-photometer (NISP). VIS has at least one filterband covering the wavelength range 550-800 nm. The NISP spectrometer operates in the range of 1.1-2.0 micron with a spectral resolution of R~250, the NISP photometric channel consists of three near-infrared imaging bands. Both instruments cover a large common field of view of 0.54 deg2, to be able to survey at least 15,000 deg2. An overview of the mission will be presented: the scientific objectives, payload, satellite, and science operations. Launch is foreseen in 2019.