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Image above: An artist’s impression of the Euclid spacecraft. The background image shows a part of the simulated large-scale structure of the early universe from the Millennium Simulation.

The Euclid satellite, due for launch in 2020, will measure the expansion of the universe and the growth of structure within it over an unprecedented fraction of its history. This will provide a fundamental test of our cosmological world model by probing the nature of the dark matter and dark energy. Euclid will map 15000 square degrees of sky with sharp visible and near-infrared images of over a billion galaxies as well as measure emission-line redshifts for tens of millions of faint galaxies in the near-infrared. The Euclid data will be complemented with color measurements from large ground-based imaging surveys. All this data will be provided to scientists via the Euclid Archive System. It enables a wide range of legacy science opportunities for those able to handle the large volumes of data, in addition to the cosmology science.

The Dutch in-kind contribution to the Euclid mission, supported by NOVA funding for 2014-2018, consists of the workpackages that center around the Netherlands Euclid Science Data Center  which is the Dutch node in the Euclid Science Ground Segment. The Netherlands has responsibility for the following tasks:

– Develop, prototype, build and maintain the Euclid Archive System in collaboration with ESA,

– Develop the pipelines and data handling system to process and combine the large ground-based surveys and populate the Euclid Archive System with it, jointly with Euclid-Germany.

– Develop a data reduction and calibration pipeline for the near-infrared Euclid imaging data in collaboration with Euclid-Italy,

– Develop the Netherlands Euclid Science Data Center that will implement the above pipelines and provides data processing and storage facilities.  It will also host one of two mirrors of the metadata database of the Euclid Archive System.

Further information on the Euclid spacecraft and mission can be found on ESA’s Euclid webpage. For more information on the instrument suite and the science that will be conducted with Euclid, visit the website of the Euclid Consortium.

The NOVA principal investigator for Euclid is Prof. dr. Koen Kuijken (Leiden observatory)