Friday, February 22, 2013


News release: 2013-055                                                             Feb. 12, 2013

JPL to Lead U.S. Science Team for Dark Energy Mission 

JPL to Lead U.S. Science Team for
                 Dark Energy Mission

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:

PASADENA, Calif. -- 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.

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 Doré, 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 and .

Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

J.D. Harrington 202-358-5241
NASA Headquarters, Washington
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  1. 2013 a WORF ODDESSY5:45 PM

    Outstanding. Awesome topic to make a thread on.

    Now we're cookin with fire.

  2. 2013 a WORFY ODYSSEY5:48 PM

    ...if I could spell Odyssey, lol.

  3. I love NASA! Do you think it's good that SPACE X is a private company giving NASA some competition?

    I am going to NASA JPL soon... tell you why when I add more to the blog.

    A lot is happening.

    More soon xoxo


    NASA is hands down the best thing America's ever done as a whole.

    NASA represents the very core of who and what Americans are.

    Smart, competent, "can do", undeterred, dedicated, driven, and always on the cutting edge, driving technology, innovation, exploration and teaching us not just about space, but our own planet and environment.

    NASA is and always will be the one organization that makes us shine as a nation when everything else is falling apart.

    Just like they did during Viet Nam, when NASA left this world and sent men to walk on another world.

    I know you were there, glued to your TV as a kid as was I and anyone else who was alive during that perfect day in July, 1969 as two humans stepped for the first time in history on another world.

    And I know you were there, as was I, when less than a year before Pete Conrad, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders came around the moon and for the first time sent back to earth a picture of the full circumference of the earth, and read from Genesis, Christmas eve.

    My Mom got teary eyed when he did, and I, only 8 years old, sat and watched, mesmerized and thinking to myself "my God what a wonderful world I've been born into".

    To this day NASA hasn't let us down. I watched mesmerized recently as a NASA ship entered the martian atmosphere, fired descent rockets, then hovered above the ground and lowered via cables a probe the size of a Cadillac, that now explores the surface, finding new mysteries every day.

    NASA is king, they are the best of breed of humanity.

    NASA has vision, and the rest of the world wears bi-focals.


    The fair Lydia said...

    I am going to NASA JPL soon..

    Cool. Did you know that NASA built JPL based on the science of Global Warming? (particularly the greenhouse effect).

    While these petty, ignorant right wing throwbacks cackle and cluck about how they don't "Believe" in global warming, ....NASA is busy BUILDING and designing equipment based around it.

    NASA is the best. The best ever.


    As to whether I think its good that there are other commerical companies like Branson, SPACE X, etc, I don't see a problem with it.

    Might drive the technology.

    What's SAD about it though, is that we have to have those commercial organizations because of this constant cheapskate republican budget cuts, and the President has no choice but to underfund every thing from Medicare to Social Security to NASA to our own Military.

    The "CAN"T DO" republicans are the very opposite of the CAN DO spirit of NASA.

    And yet even on a tight budget, they landed a ship on Mars.

    When these commercial organizations can do that, I'll be impressed.

    But for now they're just in low orbit for the most part, doing things the Russians did in the 1960s with antiquated technology.

    Until they get out of low earth orbit and do something, then NASA is still KING.


    By the way, I said Pete Conrad, but I meant Frank Borman. It was Borman on Apollo 8, Lovell and Anders.


    You know the other cool thing about NASA?

    While petty politicians and hacks are busy trying to start wars and trouble with other nations NASA is busy working side by side with them.

    My best friend and neighbor worked for NASA for over 20 years. I used to go to parties with heads of NASA, (people you've seen on TV), and leaders at Goddard Space Flight Center.

    I always wanted to work for NASA but got sidetracked.

    I've always regretted that, because I had a chance to work for them at Goddard back in the 90s, but opted for the easy money instead.

    Always regretted that.

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  10. Lydia is going to NASA in the "HOPE" she may see god with the new powerful telescopes...........LOL!

    : |

  11. Remember,Lydia,god is an "Evil Genius" and that is 100% fact......period!

    Time for you to come out of your self-imposed protective bubble?!


    Johnny's bubble is inside his head.


    I imagine when you're a selfish, apathetic good for nothing drunken bum who hates the poor and spites the widow....a God who demands brotherhood and humanity might seem "evil" to that individual.

  14. see god with the new powerful telescopes

    Look how dumb mook mook really is.
    He thunks you can see a non-physical being with a telescope.

    Dumb mook mook, really dumb as usual.

  15. Uhhhhhhhhhhh............Cliffy Poo,obviously my sarcasm was directed towards feminist blondes.

    BTW,you guys should chill a bit........seriously!!Its not healthy to continuously complain about all the worlds woes all the time.

    Try (if possible) to say positive things sometimes.


    Johnny Dumbshit said...

    BTW,you guys should chill a bit........seriously!!Its not healthy to continuously complain about all the worlds woes all the time.

    Try (if possible) to say positive things sometimes.

    We were.

    We were talking about NASA and space exploration and how great it was.

    But YOU didn't like it, so YOU came in and started mocking and ridiculing it.


    So apparently big mouth, you need to take your own advice.

    Clear it up any?

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