The European Space Agency (ESA) has successfully resolved early software and light issues that affected the Euclid space telescope‘s initial operations. These problems were identified during the telescope’s automated pointing system tests. The pointing system mistakenly reoriented the telescope when cosmic noise was misinterpreted as faint stars in dark sky areas.
To address this issue, ESA updated the telescope’s software, which now operates slightly slower than initially planned. Consequently, the main mission may extend by up to six months. However, this adjustment should not impact the telescope’s scientific objectives.
Euclid’s mission aims to map the positions of 1.5 billion galaxies in three dimensions, offering insights into dark energy and the universe’s expansion. To achieve this, the telescope must frequently capture dark sky regions with faint stars. The recent software update enhances the algorithm’s ability to filter out cosmic noise, ensuring stable and accurate pointing for Euclid’s scientific observations.
Additionally, another minor issue related to stray light entering the telescope, caused by sunlight reflecting off a small section of a thruster, was resolved by adjusting the probe’s orientation.
As a result of these solutions, Euclid is expected to resume its planned commissioning stages and commence scientific operations in November.