One of the world’s mysteries has always been how Earth came into existence. There is also the rest of the planetary systems and galaxies since their origin also remains a mystery. Fortunately, scientists might be able to put the matter to test with the help of a new space telescope. With the Bing Bang theory as the reference point, it is quite clear that the universe’s expansion has been snowballing. This new space telescope is here to help us understand that.

The mission to be carried out by this NASA‘s new space telescope, SPHEREx, will take about two years. During that time, the sky will be mapped up to four years. Consequently, there will be a huge database containing various nebulas, galaxies, and stars. Equally important, NASA will have its first all-sky spectroscopy 3D map. SPHEREx is the abbreviation of Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer. This map of the sky will be in near-infrared light.

If things go as planned, the space observatory will be a reality soon. Its size will be no different from that of a subcompact car. In addition to that, the launch can take place at any time from June 2024 and April 2025. The mission will involve studying various stars and galaxies using both near-infrared light and visible light. The data, coupled with the use of spectroscopy technology, will help in the analysis of individual stars. It will then be possible to tell the components of an object and how far it is from the Earth. According to scientists, they could be dealing with hundreds of millions, approximately 300 million galaxies. Whereas some will be near, others will be quite far since the light coming from them has taken 10 billion years to reach the Earth.

Another focus will be the Milky Way galaxy with over 100 million stars and stars’ organic molecules, including water ice. Understanding the molecules around stellar birthplaces, such as probable areas for new planet formations and star nurseries, could go a long way in understanding their components. After all, what people know at the moment is that star results from dust and gas. SPHEREx will also be on the lookout for new star formations.

The fact that the SPHEREx project is now in Phase C is a beacon of hope for this mission. It shows that the design plans are good enough for the next stage. Therefore, experts can commence designing the final product and assembling software and hardware. The responsibility of developing the SPHEREx instruments lies on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology. On the other hand, Ball Aerospace will be in charge of building the spacecraft. All that manufacturing will take the team about 29 months. Then, assembling, testing, and eventually launching will follow.

By Adam

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