Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to lead U.S. science team for dark energy mission

Date:
February 12, 2013
Source:
NASA
Summary:
The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected three NASA-nominated science teams to participate in their planned Euclid mission, including one team led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

This artist's concept shows the Euclid spacecraft.
Credit: ESA/C. Carreau

The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected three NASA-nominated science teams to participate in their planned Euclid mission, including one team led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Related Articles


NASA is a partner in the Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to probe the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter. Euclid is currently scheduled to launch in 2020.

JPL will provide 16 advanced infrared detectors and four spare detectors for one of two instruments planned for the mission. In addition, JPL will contribute to science planning and data analysis with the help of its 43-member science team, the largest of the three U.S. teams. This team, led by JPL scientist Jason Rhodes, is composed of 29 scientists recently nominated by NASA, and 14 U.S. scientists who are already part of Euclid.

The other two U.S. science teams are led by Ranga-Ram Chary of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; and Alexander Kashlinsky of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; with three and seven members, respectively.

Rhodes also was appointed by NASA to be a member of ESA's principal 12-member Euclid Science Team and the U.S. representative for the Euclid Consortium's governing body. The Euclid Consortium is an international body of 1,000 members, including the U.S. science team members, and will build the instruments and analyze the science data jointly.

"Understanding the hidden contents of the universe and the nature of the dark energy will require the collaboration of astronomers and engineers around the world," said Rhodes.

Euclid will observe up to two billion galaxies occupying more than one-third of the sky with the goal of better understanding the contents of our universe. Everyday matter that we see around us, for example in tables and chairs, people and even stars, makes up only a few percent of everything in our cosmos. If you could fill a bucket with the mass and energy contents of our universe, this everyday matter would fill only a small fraction. A larger amount, about 24 percent, would consist of dark matter, an invisible substance that does not reflect or emit any light, but exerts a gravitational tug on other matter.

The majority of our universal bucket, about 73 percent, is thought to be filled with dark energy, something even more mysterious than dark matter. Whereas dark matter pulls through its gravity, dark energy is thought to be a repulsive force pushing matter apart. Scientists think dark energy may be responsible for stretching our universe apart at ever-increasing speeds, an observation that earned the Nobel Prize in 2011.

Euclid scientists will use two methods to make the most precise measurements yet of our "dark" universe. The first method, called weak lensing, involves analyzing the shapes of billions of galaxies across more than half the age of the universe. When dark matter lies in front of galaxies, it can't be seen, but its gravity distorts the light from the galaxies behind it. More dark matter will lead to slightly larger distortions. By measuring these minute distortions, scientists can understand the amount and distribution of the dark matter between these galaxies and us.

Changes in these dark matter structures over time are governed by interplay between the attractive force of gravity and the repulsive dark energy. Thus, studying galaxy shapes reveals information about both dark matter and dark energy.

The second method, called galaxy clustering or baryon acoustic oscillations, will serve as an independent measurement of dark energy. Early in the universe, galaxies were imprinted with a standard distance between them. This distance -- referred to as a standard ruler -- expands as the universe itself expands. By making precise measurements of the distances between tens of millions of galaxies, the scientists will be able to chart this expansion and learn more about the dark energy driving it. Observations of how the galaxies are clustered will also further probe dark matter.

The JPL-led U.S. science team will employ both of these methods and work together with the rest of the Euclid scientists to shine light on the darkest riddles of our cosmos. Of the 43 team members, six are based at JPL. They are: Olivier Dorι, Peter Eisenhardt, Alina Kiessling, Leonidas Moustakas, Jason Rhodes and Daniel Stern. Two additional team members, Peter Capak and Harry Teplitz, are based at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center.

Mike Seiffert is the U.S. project scientist for Euclid at JPL, and Ulf Israelsson is the U.S. project manager at JPL.

Euclid is a European Space Agency mission with science instruments and data analysis provided by the Euclid consortium with important participation from NASA. NASA's Euclid Project Office is based at JPL. JPL will contribute the infrared flight detectors for one of Euclid's two science instruments. NASA Goddard will assist with infrared detector characterization and will perform detailed testing on flight detectors prior to delivery. Three U.S. science teams, led by JPL, Goddard and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech, will contribute to science planning and data analysis. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/euclid and http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=102 .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to lead U.S. science team for dark energy mission." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212140107.htm>.
NASA. (2013, February 12). NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to lead U.S. science team for dark energy mission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212140107.htm
NASA. "NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to lead U.S. science team for dark energy mission." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212140107.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

China Prepares Unmanned Mission To Lunar Orbit

China Prepares Unmanned Mission To Lunar Orbit

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — The mission is China's next step toward automated sample-return missions and eventual manned missions to the moon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russian Cosmonauts Kick Off Final Spacewalk of 2014

Russian Cosmonauts Kick Off Final Spacewalk of 2014

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 22, 2014) — Russian cosmonauts Maxim Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev step outside the International Space Station to perform work on the exterior of the station's Russian module. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Comet Siding Spring Grazes Mars' Atmosphere

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) — A comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system passed extremely close to Mars this weekend, giving astronomers a rare opportunity to study it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

Latin America Launches Communications Satellite

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) — Argentina launches a home-built satellite, a first for Latin America. It will ride a French-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit, and will provide cell phone, digital TV, Internet and data services to the lower half of South America. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins