A mysterious power generally known as darkish vitality pervades the Universe. It’s inflicting the growth of our Universe to speed up, leading to galaxies shifting away from one another at quicker and quicker speeds. The one downside is, we do not know what precisely it’s. How can there be such an vital power that we don’t perceive?Discovering out has been a key query for astronomers for many years, however a brand new telescope is about to probe this puzzle. Launching within the second half of 2022, the European Area Company’s (ESA) Euclid telescope is a machine like no different, and might be despatched into house with the goal of lastly fixing a number of the secrets and techniques of darkish vitality. It’ll additionally observe darkish matter – the unusual, invisible matter that far outweighs common matter within the Universe – with unrivalled precision, reworking our data of the cosmos.“There isn’t any single compelling principle in the intervening time of what darkish vitality is,” says Catherine Heymans, professor of astrophysics on the College of Edinburgh, the Astronomer Royal for Scotland and a member of the Euclid consortium, a gaggle of hundreds of scientists that can pore over knowledge collected by the telescope. “I might say it’s the most important query now we have: what’s inflicting this darkish vitality phenomenon?”Euclid will construct on the work of earlier telescopes comparable to ESA’s Planck telescope, which studied cosmic microwave background radiation – the remnant warmth from the Huge Bang – from 2009 to 2013. However by learning the Universe utilizing infrared and visual gentle as an alternative, Euclid’s measurement of the acceleration brought on by darkish vitality is anticipated to be “5 to 10 occasions higher” than now we have now, says René Laureijs, Euclid’s challenge scientist at ESA. And with its measurements of darkish matter, Euclid will refine our understanding of the Universe’s construction, permitting us to probe even elementary theories. “By taking a look at how gravity is altering these buildings, we are able to truly take a look at Einstein’s principle of basic relativity throughout the Universe,” Heymans says.Benedict RedgroveThe Euclid telescope has been a decade within the making because the mission was chosen by ESA in 2011. Since then, contractors have been busy designing and constructing the machine, culminating in it being assembled and examined in 2020 in a clear room at an Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. In its entirety, Euclid measures 4.5 metres tall and three.1 metres throughout, and weighs 2,160kg. It’s composed of two segments: a service module, which provides the telescope with energy, and a payload module, which homes the mirrors and devices.