NASA selects mission to discover origins of cosmos – Astronomy Now

February 15, 2019 - Comment

NASA has permitted a brand new mission – SPHEREx – to check how the universe advanced. Launch is focused for 2023. Picture: Caltech NASA has chosen a brand new house mission that may assist astronomers perceive each how our universe advanced and the way frequent are the components for all times in our galaxy’s planetary



NASA has permitted a brand new mission – SPHEREx – to check how the universe advanced. Launch is focused for 2023. Picture: Caltech

NASA has chosen a brand new house mission that may assist astronomers perceive each how our universe advanced and the way frequent are the components for all times in our galaxy’s planetary programs.

The Spectro-Photometer for the Historical past of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission is a deliberate two-year mission funded at $242 million (not together with launch prices) and focused to launch in 2023.

SPHEREx will survey the sky in optical in addition to near-infrared gentle which, although not seen to the human eye, serves as a strong instrument for answering cosmic questions. Astronomers will use the mission to assemble knowledge on greater than 300 million galaxies, in addition to greater than 100 million stars in our personal Milky Means.

“This wonderful mission might be a treasure trove of distinctive knowledge for astronomers,” mentioned Thomas Zurbuchen, affiliate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “It should ship an unprecedented galactic map containing ‘fingerprints’ from the primary moments within the universe’s historical past. And we’ll have new clues to one of many biggest mysteries in science: What made the universe broaden so rapidly lower than a nanosecond after the large bang?”

SPHEREx will survey a whole lot of tens of millions of galaxies close to and much, some so distant their gentle has taken 10 billion years to succeed in Earth. Within the Milky Means, the mission will seek for water and natural molecules – necessities for all times, as we all know it – in stellar nurseries, areas the place stars are born from fuel and mud, in addition to disks round stars the place new planets may very well be forming.

Each six months, SPHEREx will survey all the sky utilizing applied sciences tailored from Earth satellites and Mars spacecraft. The mission will create a map of all the sky in 96 totally different color bands, far exceeding the color decision of earlier all-sky maps. It additionally will determine targets for extra detailed examine by future missions, resembling NASA’s James Webb House Telescope and Extensive Subject Infrared Survey Telescope.

The mission’s principal investigator is James Bock of Caltech in Pasadena, California. Caltech will work with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop the mission payload. JPL will even handle the mission.

Ball Aerospace in Broomfield, Colorado, will present the SPHEREx spacecraft and mission integration. The Korea Astronomy & House Science Institute in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, will contribute check gear and science evaluation.



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