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NASA's new mission to study ultraviolet sky, stars, stellar explosions


The heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097. /NASA
The heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097. /NASA

The heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097. /NASA

NASA will launch a new mission to survey ultraviolet light across the entire sky with the aim of learning how galaxies and stars evolve, the agency announced on Thursday.

The space telescope, called the UltraViolet EXplorer (UVEX), is slated to launch in 2030 as NASA's next Astrophysics Medium-Class Explorer mission.

In addition to conducting a highly sensitive all-sky survey, UVEX will be able to quickly point toward sources of ultraviolet light in the universe.

This capability will enable it to capture the explosions that follow bursts of gravitational waves caused by merging neutron stars. The telescope will also carry an ultraviolet spectrograph to study stellar explosions and massive stars, according to NASA.

"NASA's UVEX will help us better understand the nature of both nearby and distant galaxies, as well as follow up on dynamic events in our changing universe," said Nicola Fox, associate administrator of Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"This mission will bring key capabilities in near-and far-ultraviolet light to our fleet of space telescopes, delivering a wealth of survey data that will open new avenues in exploring the secrets of the cosmos," Fox said.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
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