NASA picks mission to make allsky infrared map

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe NASA JPL SPHEREx would map hundreds of millions of galaxies in the infrared.  NASA has just given the green light to a mission that will study multiple eras of cosmic history, from the earliest fractions of a second after the big bang to modern-day planetary formation. The space-based Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) will map the entire sky in the infrared—wavelengths that are mostly blocked by Earth’s atmosphere.“It’s a great moment,” says SPHEREx Principal Investigator James Bock, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, who says he’s glad to be just one member of a large team. “If it was just me, I’d be really panicked.”SPHEREx beat out one other finalist for NASA’s middle-class explorer program (MIDEX), a competitive mission line whose costs are capped at $250 million. Previous MIDEX missions include the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which launched last year. SPHEREx has been awarded $242 million and is expected to launch in 2023. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img By Adam MannFeb. 13, 2019 , 5:35 PM Email NASA picks mission to make all-sky infrared map One of SPHEREx’s main goals will be to determine the distance from Earth to 300 million galaxies and map out their 3D structure. By looking at over-densities and under-densities in their large-scale distribution, the mission might be able to tease out tiny effects from a hypothesized period in the early universe known as inflation, when the universe expanded exponentially in size in the moments after the big bang.Primordial quantum mechanical fluctuations from the newborn universe, boosted by inflation, left ripples on the cosmic microwave background, the most distant light that telescopes can see. Similarly, inflation could have generated a signature on galactic distribution that would give researchers clues about its details. Some theories posit that the energy for inflation came from a field with an associated particle known as an inflaton.“It’s possible that view is simplistic,” Bock says. “There are reasons to think there will be multiple fields involved.”SPHEREx will also gather information about the total light emitted by galaxies, giving insights into an under-studied era known as reionization, when the first stars began lighting up the universe and heating up clouds of hydrogen. Finally, closer to home, the mission will map out the abundance of ices in molecular clouds within the Milky Way. As these clouds collapse, they form stars and planets, though the details of the process are still not well known.“Ice on the dust grains may be important for accretion,” Bock says. “For instance, causing things to stick together better.”In the MIDEX competition, SPHEREx won out over the Arcus satellite, which would have studied galaxies in x-rays to get a better understanding of the supermassive black holes at their centers. An exoplanet mission, the Fast INfrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey Explorer (FINESSE), was originally another finalist. But NASA asked its designers to instead contribute technology and expertise to a similar observatory in development by the European Space Agency called the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL).last_img

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