The SOFIA program: astronomers return to the stratosphere
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is the next generation of airborne astronomical observatories. Funded by the US and German space agencies, SOFIA is scheduled for science flights beginning in late 2005. The observatory consists of a 747-SP modified to accommodate a 2.7-m telescope with an open port design. Academic and government laboratories spanning both the US 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-sec]=0.1 × 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 http://sofia.arc.nasa.gov and is updated frequently.
Advances in Space Research
- Pub Date:
- January 2004