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Proceedings Paper

The SOFIA program: astronomers return to the stratosphere
Author(s): Sean C. Casey
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Paper Abstract

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is the next generation of airborne astronomical observatories. Funded by the U.S. and German space agencies, SOFIA is scheduled for science flights beginning in late-2008. The observatory consists of a 747-SP modified to accommodate a 2.7-meter telescope with an open port design. Academic and government laboratories spanning both the U.S. and Germany are developing science instruments for SOFIA. Using state-of-the-art technologies, SOFIA will explore the emission of astronomical sources with an unprecedented level of angular resolution (θ[arc-seconds] = 0.1 x wavelength [μm]) and spectral line sensitivity at infrared and sub-millimeter wavelengths. The current status of SOFIA is available from the observatory web site at and is updated frequently.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6267, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes, 62670Q (23 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.674475
Show Author Affiliations
Sean C. Casey, Universities Space Research Association, NASA (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6267:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes
Larry M. Stepp, Editor(s)

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