The spectacular first images from a dark matter-hunting telescope were unveiled Tuesday, showcasing bustling galaxies, clusters of ancient stars and wispy, dreamlike stellar nurseries.
The images, from the European Space Agency’s Euclid telescope that launched into space in July, were released to great fanfare. These dramatic images are an exciting first look at what this dark-universe-mapping, six-year-old telescope will be able to produce.
One of the most eye-catching of the newly released images is an ethereal look at the Horsehead Nebula, which forms part of the constellation Orion. The Horsehead Nebula is a cold cloud of dark gas that is part of an active star formation region. It is also known as Barnard 33, and its equine-shaped shape makes it appear like an eerie ghost against the glowing background.
The Euclid Telescope also spotted a spiral Galaxy known as IC 342, which is often nicknamed “Hidden Galaxy.” The veil of gas and dust that surrounds our Milky Way makes it difficult to see.
The article Euclid’s first pictures offer a full-color view of the universe first appeared on NBC News .