Institute of Astronomy

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA): Observing the Interstellar Medium and Star Formation in the 20 to 300 micron region

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Eric Becklin (UCLA)25 September 2015Institute of Astronomy Galaxies Discussion Group

Abstract

The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP aircraft, is now fully operational with cameras and spectrometers in the 0.3 to 240 micron region. SOFIA is one of the major observatories for the next 20 years to observe the local ISM and Star Formation within our Galaxy and Nearby Galaxies. SOFIA has observed both in the Northern and in the Southern Hemisphere and can also observe special events such as planetary occultations anywhere in the world. A brief overview of the flying observatory, telescope, instrumentation and recent exciting science results will be presented. Future observing and instrument opportunities will be discussed.

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