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NASA's newest mission will study the origins of the universe

NASA has announced a two-year space mission to study the beginnings and evolution of the universe and determine how common the ingredients for life are withi...

Posted: Feb 14, 2019 7:53 AM

NASA has announced a two-year space mission to study the beginnings and evolution of the universe and determine how common the ingredients for life are within the planetary systems in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer, nicknamed SPHEREx, is expected to launch in 2023 and has been funded at $242 million -- not including launch costs.

"This amazing mission will be a treasure trove of unique data for astronomers," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "It will deliver an unprecedented galactic map containing 'fingerprints' from the first moments in the universe's history. And we'll have new clues to one of the greatest mysteries in science: What made the universe expand so quickly less than a nanosecond after the big bang?"

SPHEREx will use near-infrared light, as well as optical, to survey the sky every six months and collect data from more than 100 million stars in the Milky Way, as well as 300 million galaxies. These are galaxies in our cosmic neighborhood along with some that are so distant, it's taken 10 billion years for their light to reach our telescopes.

The technology used to create SPHEREx has been adapted from what is used on our satellites and Mars spacecraft, NASA said in a statement.

While surveying the Milky Way, SPHEREx will search for organic molecules and water in areas where stars are born, called stellar nurseries. These nurseries, as well as disks around stars that help form new planets, could contain the ingredients for life as we know it. Recently, surprising things such as salt have been found in these areas.

The mission's result should create a sky map using 96 varied color bands with more resolution than any previous sky maps. And like other NASA missions, SPHEREx can also help identify targets for upcoming missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

"I'm really excited about this new mission," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in the statement. "Not only does it expand the United States' powerful fleet of space-based missions dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of the universe, it is a critical part of a balanced science program that includes missions of various sizes."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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Isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue to be the rule for our Saturday and Sunday. Otherwise, we will see high temperatures reaching well into the 90s for highs and heat index values between 100 to 115 during the afternoon hours.
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