NASA has officially joined ESA’s Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to investigate the mysterious natures of dark matter and dark energy. To be launched in 2020, Euclid’s 1.2 m-diameter telescope and two scientific instruments will map the shape, brightness and 3D distribution of two billion galaxies covering more than a third of the whole sky and looking back over three-quarters of the history of the Universe.
Scientists hope to solve key problems in our understanding of the evolution and fate of our expanding cosmos: the roles played by ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’. Dark matter is invisible, but has gravity and acts to slow the expansion. Dark energy, however, seems to be accelerating the expansion seen around us today. Together, these two components are thought to comprise more than 95% of the mass and energy of the Universe, with ‘normal’ matter and energy making up the remaining small fraction. But what they are remains a profound mystery.
Full Story: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/NASA_joins_ESA_s_dark_Universe_mission