CIBER-2 Sounding Rocket


  • Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment-2, also known as CIBER-2, is the sounding or instrument-carrying rocket that will be used for the stellar mission. CIBER-2 is part of an ongoing series of projects that aims to observe integrated lights across the universe.

  • Recently, NASA-funded rocket’s launch window will open at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, USA. The aim of this mission is to count the number of stars that exist in the Universe. While this is not the first time that such a mission has been undertaken, the CIBER-2 instrument has been improved upon to see if any stars had been undercounted in the previous counting attempts.

About CIBER-2

  • The scientists have estimated that on average each galaxy consists of about 100 million stars in order to roughly estimate the number of stars in the Universe.
  • The instrument will launch aboard a sounding rocket, a small suborbital rocket that will carry scientific instruments on brief trips into space before it falls back to Earth for recovery.
  • The aim of this mission is to count the number of stars that exist in the Universe. CIBER-2
  • It is designed to continue the spectro-photometric and fluctuation campaign of the Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) in the near infrared.
  • It will help to evaluate and find the true figures of the stars, as the highest estimated number of the celestial bodies from the massive universe might not be enough.
  • It is a near-infrared rocket-borne instrument designed to conduct comprehensive multi-band measurements of extragalactic background light (EBL) anisotropy on arc-second to degree angular scales.

Working of CIBER-2

  • It will survey a patch of sky that will include dozens of clusters of galaxies.
  • The instrument will not actually count individual stars but it will instead detect the extragalactic background light, which is all of the light that has been emitted throughout the history of the Universe.
  • It will focus on a portion of the cosmic infrared background, which is emitted by some of the most common stars.
  • It is aiming to look at how bright this light is to give scientists an estimate of how many of these stars are out there.

Extragalactic Background Light and Cosmic Infrared Background

  • The EBL is a background glow of the collective photons produced in the universe over time.
  • It was used in the first CIBER mission to determine the total light from stars through optical to ultraviolet scale.
  • The objective is to use cosmic infrared background to point out the common types of stars such as M and K dwarfs.
  • The sounding rocket will measure the number of stars not by counting the physical bodies themselves, but by the traces of lights that are emitted by stars in faint galaxies.

Source: IE

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