NASA to launch SphereX telescope into space in 2024 to search for clues to the Big Bang



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NASA reveals plans to launch SphereX telescope in 2024 to search for Big Bang clues and signs of life beyond Earth

  • NASA’s SphereX telescope to launch between June 2024 and April 2025
  • During its two-year mission, SphereX will map the entire sky four times
  • The mission aims to find evidence of what happened right after the big bang
  • It will also look for signs of water ice and frozen organic molecules around newly formed stars in the Milky Way.

This is one of the most fundamental questions in science – how exactly did our universe start?

Now NASA has revealed ambitious plans to launch a new telescope into space to help shed light on this mystery.

The space telescope will be launched between June 2024 and April 2025 and will search for clues to the Big Bang, as well as signs of life beyond our planet.

NASA has approved preliminary design plans for the space telescope, called the Spectrophotometer for the History of the Universe, the Era of Reionization, and the Ice Explorer (SPHEREx), which has roughly the same size than a subcompact car.

NASA has approved preliminary design plans for the space telescope, called the Spectrophotometer for the History of the Universe, the Era of Reionization, and the Ice Explorer (SPHEREx), which has roughly the same size than a subcompact car.

WHAT IS THE SPHEREX SPACE TELESCOPE?

The Spectrophotometer for the History of the Universe, the Era of Reionization and the Ices Explorer Space Telescope (SPHEREx) serves as a tool to answer cosmic questions.

NASA will use the telescope to collect data on more than 300 million galaxies, as well as more than 100 million stars in our own Milky Way.

In the Milky Way, the mission will search for water and organic molecules, essential to life as we know it.

Every six months, the space telescope will scan the entire sky to create a map in 96 bands of different colors.

It will also identify targets for more detailed study by future missions, such as NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

NASA has approved preliminary design plans for the space telescope, called the Spectrophotometer for the History of the Universe, the Era of Reionization, and the Ice Explorer (SPHEREx), which has roughly the same size than a subcompact car.

It is equipped with instruments to detect infrared light invisible to the human eye. This data can reveal what objects are made of, as well as their distance from Earth.

During its two-year mission, SphereX will map the entire sky four times, creating a huge database of stars, galaxies, nebulae, and other celestial objects.

The space telescope will be NASA’s first to build a near-infrared full-sky spectroscopy map, and it will observe a total of 102 near-infrared colors.

Allen Farrington, the SphereX project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said: “It’s like going from black and white images to color; it’s like going from Kansas to Oz.

The SphereX mission has three main objectives.

The first is to look for evidence of what happened less than a billionth of a billionth of a second after the big bang.

Meanwhile, scientists believe space itself may have expanded rapidly in a process called inflation, which may have influenced the distribution of matter in the cosmos.

The space telescope is equipped with instruments to detect infrared light invisible to the human eye.  This data can reveal what objects are made of, as well as their distance from Earth.

The space telescope is equipped with instruments to detect infrared light invisible to the human eye. This data can reveal what objects are made of, as well as their distance from Earth.

The SphereX space telescope will search for evidence of what happened less than a billionth of a billionth of a second after the big bang (stock image)

The SphereX space telescope will search for evidence of what happened less than a billionth of a billionth of a second after the big bang (stock image)

The second objective is to study the history of the formation of galaxies, from the first stars that ignited after the Big Bang, to current galaxies.

SphereX will do this by studying the faint glow created by all the galaxies in the universe, allowing scientists to decipher how the first galaxies initially formed stars.

Finally, the mission aims to search for water ice and frozen organic molecules around the newly formed stars in our galaxy, which could provide key clues to life beyond our planet.

NASA explained, “ Water ice is glowing on dust grains in cold, dense gas clouds across the galaxy. Young stars form inside these clouds and planets form from discs of residual matter around these stars.

“The ice in these disks could seed the planets with water and other organic molecules. In fact, the water in Earth’s oceans likely started out as interstellar ice. Scientists want to know how often vital materials like water are incorporated into young planetary systems.

“It will help them understand how common planetary systems like ours are throughout the cosmos.

THE BIG BANG THEORY DESCRIBES THE BEGINNING AND EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE

The Big Bang Theory is a cosmological model, a theory used to describe the beginning and evolution of our universe.

He says the universe was in a very hot and dense state before it started to expand 13.7 billion years ago.

This theory is based on fundamental observations.

In 1920, Hubble observed that the distance between galaxies was increasing all over the universe.

The Big Bang Theory is a cosmological model, a theory used to describe the start and evolution of our universe, based on observations - including cosmic background radiation (pictured), which is a fossil like radiation emitted at the beginning of the universe, when it was hot and dense

The Big Bang Theory is a cosmological model, a theory used to describe the start and evolution of our universe, based on observations – including cosmic background radiation (pictured), which is a fossil like radiation emitted at the beginning of the universe, when it was hot and dense

This means that galaxies had to be closer to each other in the past.

In 1964 Wilson and Penzias discovered cosmic background radiation, which is like a fossil of radiation emitted at the beginning of the universe, when it was hot and dense.

Cosmic background radiation can be seen anywhere in the universe.

The composition of the universe – that is, the number of atoms of the different elements – conforms to the Big Bang theory.

So far, this theory is the only one that can explain why we observe an abundance of primordial elements in the universe.



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