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Portuguese scientists team wins ESA award for contributing to the success of the Euclid mission

ESA's Euclid mission has a group of Portuguese scientists from the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) in charge of planning sky scans, in collaboration with more than 20 scientists from various institutions. Now, the team that helps the Euclid telescope to observe the dark side of the Universe has received the Euclid STAR 2020 award for its contribution to the mission's success.

The screening group (ECSURV), where the team of national scientists is responsible for producing the sky mapping calendar with about 40,000 observations from the Euclid telescope. The objective is to define which region of the sky will be observed at each moment of the mission's more than six years.

According to Ismael Tereno, researcher at the IA, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and coordinator of the Portuguese team at ECSURV, the planning carried out by the fundamental group. The researcher explains in a statement that the work touches almost all aspects of the mission, being a highly visible product in the Euclid community.

Portuguese ECSURV team AI team that is part of the Euclid consortium screening group. From left to right: Ismael Tereno, Joo Dinis, Carla Sofia Carvalho, Antnio da Silva. credits: IA

For Joo Diniz, a researcher at IA and FCUL, and a member of the screening group, the project has been challenging, but rewarding to see all the work recognized. There are a myriad of constraints that the satellite has to obey and that condition the observation plan: its movements and rotations are limited, and each calibration field has to be observed in a specific way, explains the researcher.

J Antnio da Silva, researcher at the IA, Cincias ULisboa, member of the Euclid Consortium Directorate and the screening group, recognizes that for the participation of the Portuguese team, the support of the funding institutes and agencies, FCT and PT SPACE was essential. .

A mission to the dark side of the Universe

The Euclid telescope's mission is to study the shape and the three-dimensional position of millions of galaxies with the help of two instruments: a camera in visible light, and another camera / spectrometer in the near infrared. Scientists hope to be able to map the spatial distribution of dark matter, which will make up about 23% of the Universe, and the three regions have already been chosen where Euclid's special capabilities will be applied.