NASA decides to launch SPHEREx Mission to investigate origins of our Universe

Published: February 18, 2019

US space agency NASA has recently unveiled a new space telescope ‘SPHEREx’ that would begin a two-year mission in 2023 to map the entire sky in order to understand the origins of the universe. The acronym SPHEREx stands for ‘Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer’. The spacecraft’s objective is to learn about how our universe evolved and how common the essential ingredients for life in our galaxy’s planetary systems. It will survey the sky in optical as well as near-infrared light which, though not visible to the human eye, serves as a powerful tool for answering cosmic questions. It will map the entire sky every six months to create a map in 96 color bands, and will be searching for water and organic molecules like methanol or acetone in regions where stars and being born and new planets are forming. Astronomers will use the mission to gather data on more than 300 million galaxies, as well as more than 100 million stars in our own Milky Way.