• Because it is a groundbreaking all-sky spectroscopic survey, SPHEREx will be relevant to many scientific inquiries even beyond the three main science themes being pursued by the mission team. Here we list some of the relevant articles that have recently appeared in the popular and professional press.
  • Nov 22, 2016 - In a paper already accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal, The Depetion of Water During Dispersal of Planet-Forming Disk Regions, Andrea Banzatti (Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona) et al. report results from their analysis of the "most comprehensive dataset of water vapor emission from disks ever assembled." Banzatti et al. analyzed combined ground- and space-based spectra of 55 disk systems. Correlations in their data reveal inside-out depletion of water vapor within the snow line, a process that may be associated with gaps in the planet-forming disks. (Note: this work is complementary to SPHEREx because it focuses on water vapor, whereas SPHEREx will assay the relatively abundant water ices in fainter systems and orders of magnitude more of them.)
  • Oct 21, 2016 - In a new article Tracing Water Vapor and Ice During Dust Growth, Sebastian Krijt (University of Chicago) and collaborators describe their new protoplanetary disk dust model. This model simultaneously treats many different physical processes ongoing in disks, including dust growth and fragmentation, as well as dust grain dynamics, gas-grain chemistry, and vapor diffusion, and shows how dust coagulation dramatically impacts the distributions of water ice and vapor, and their abundances, in the vertical column.
  • Sep 21, 2016 - In an arXiv posting today entitled Grand challenges in protoplanetary disk modelling, Haworth et al. 2016 explain that the composition of ice coating dust grains in disks can impact the dust "sticking efficiency and coagulation and fragmentation efficiencies," with consequences for how the dust, and likewise the disk, evolves over time. SPHEREx will shed light on this issue by constraining ice compositions in literally thousands of protoplanetary disks. This article is now accepted for publication in PASA.
  • Sep 16, 2016 - The SPHEREx cosmology white paper has now been cited over 50 times!
  • Sep 15, 2016 - in a new paper entitled Accurate, Empirical Radii and Masses of Planets with GAIA Parallaxes, Stassun et al. highlight the importance of SPHEREx spectrophotometry of host stars' transiting planets, which, when combined with GAIA spectrophotometry and astrometry, will provide improved effective stellar temperature and radii. This will translate directly into significantly improved knowledge of the exoplanets. Stassun et al. project that exoplanet radii can be determined with uncertainties of only a few percent in the best cases.
  • Jun 24, 2016 - The potential scientific impact of SPHEREx ice spectroscopy on our understanding of disk evolution is underlined by Min et al., 2016 (Astronomy & Astrophysics 593, 11). Min et al. analyze Herschel spectra to show that water ice "catalyzes the rapid formation of planetismals and decreases the time scale for giant planet core accretion."
  • May 27, 2016 - From Space.com: Building Blocks of Life Found in Comet's Atmosphere, by Sarah Lewin.
  • May 20, 2016 - From the Astrophysical Journal: First Detection of Gas-Phase Methanol in a Protoplanetary Disk, by Walsh et al., 2016, ApJL 823, L10.
  • May 9, 2016 A new paper on astro-ph/, The Kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect with Projected Fields II: prospects, challenges, and comparison with simulations by Ferraro et al shows the value of the SPHEREx galaxy catalog for enabling extraction of the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich signal from large datasets.
  • May 3, 2016 - From Science News: Key Sugar Needed for Life Could Have Formed in Space, by Christopher Crockett.
  • Apr 19, 2016 - SPHEREx's potential to measure non-Gaussianity was described in an article in Quanta Magazine!
  • Apr 16, 2016 - From the New York Times: The Water in Your Glass Might be Older Than the Sun, by Nicholas St. Fleur. (Note: possible paywall.)
  • Feb 24-26, 2016 - The SPHEREx team held a very successful community-oriented science workshop at CalTech. It was attended by more than 50 scientists from a wide range of disciplines, including galactic, extragalactic, and planetary science. A white paper describing the science topics was recently posted on arxiv. The attendees on day two:
  • May 9, 2015 - Boogert, Gerkines, and Whittet published an Annual Review article entitled Observations of the icy universe, which summarizes what we know about the detected infrared spectroscopic ice features so far, and compares the ice abundances across Galactic, extragalactic, and Solar System environments, setting the scientific stage for SPHEREx.