SPHEREx Detector Filters
NASA's SPHEREx mission will use these filters to conduct spectroscopy, a technique that lets scientists measure individual wavelengths of light from a source, which can reveal information such as the chemical composition of the object or how far away it is.
Each about the size of a cracker, the filters appear iridescent to the naked eye. The filters have multiple segments that block all but one specific wavelength of infrared light. Every object SPHEREx images will be observed by each segment, enabling scientists to see the specific infrared wavelengths emitted by every star or galaxy the telescope views. In total, SPHEREx can observe more than 100 distinct wavelengths.
Short for Specto-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer, SPHEREx will create a map of the cosmos like no other, imaging the entire sky and gathering information about millions of galaxies. With this map, scientists will study what happened in the first fraction of a second after the big bang, the history of galaxy evolution, and the origins of water in planetary systems in our galaxy.
SPHEREx is managed by JPL for NASA's Astrophysics Division within the Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Ball Aerospace built the telescope and will supply the spacecraft bus. The science analysis of the SPHEREx data will be conducted by a team of scientists located at 10 institutions across the U.S. and in South Korea. Data will be processed and archived at IPAC at Caltech. The SPHEREx data set will be publicly available.
For more information about the SPHEREx mission, visit: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/spherex/