NASA will launch a new space telescope mission Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) in 2023.
- The launch could help astronomers understand how the Universe evolved in the first place and how common the ingredients for life are within it.
- SPHEREx will survey the sky in optical as well as near-infrared light.
- Astronomers will use the mission to gather data on more than 300 million galaxies, as well as more than 100 million stars in Milky Way.
- The mission will create a map of the entire sky in 96 different colour bands.
- SPHEREx’s main goal is to search for the fundamentals of life — water and organic matter within the Milky Way.
- Beyond Milky Way, it will also be looking at the wider regions of the universe, where stars are born.
- This will give scientists targets for more detailed study in future missions, like NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope.
- It will deliver an unprecedented galactic map containing ‘fingerprints’ from the first moments in the universe’s history.
- It will provide new clues to one of the greatest mysteries in science that what made the universe expand so quickly less than a nanosecond after the Big Bang.