Euclid Space Telescope imaged! – 7 July 2023
We were able to capture the European Space Agency’s Euclid Telescope, on its way to the L2 point. Here it is our image.
The image above comes from the average of three, 180-second exposures, remotely taken with the Celestron C14+Paramount ME+SBIG ST8-XME robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked the object, this is why it looks like a very faint dot of light (estimated magnitude about 20), while stars on the background are leaving trails.
At the imaging time, Euclid was at about 700.000 km from the Earth, about twice the average lunar distance. The telescope was launched on 1 July 2023 and its final destination is the L2 (2nd) Lagrangian point of the Earth-Sun system at 1.5 millions of km from us. As seen from the Sun, that L2 point is directly behind the Earth; several space missions were/are located there, like the James Webb Space Telescope.
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