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Proceedings Paper

Early science results from SOFIA
Author(s): Erick T. Young; Terry L. Herter; Rolf Güsten; Edward W. Dunham; Eric E. Becklin; Pamela M. Marcum; Alfred Krabbe; B.-G. Andersson; William T. Reach; Hans Zinnecker
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Paper Abstract

SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is an airborne observatory with a 2.7-m telescope that is under development by NASA and the German Aerospace Center DLR. From late 2010 and through the end of 2011, SOFIA conducted a series of science demonstration flights, Early Science, using FORCAST (the Faint Object InfraRed Camera for the SOFIA Telescope), HIPO (the High-speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations), and GREAT (the German REceiver for Astronomy at Terahertz frequencies). Flying at altitudes as high as 13.7 km (45,000 ft), SOFIA operates above more than 99.8% of the water vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere, opening up most of the far-infrared and sub-millimeter parts of the spectrum. During Early Science, 30 science missions were flown with results in solar system astronomy, star formation, the interstellar medium, the Galactic Center, and extragalactic studies. Many of these investigations were conducted by the first group of SOFIA General Investigators, demonstrating the operation of SOFIA as a facility for the astronomical community. This paper presents some recent highlights from Early Science.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 844410 (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926845
Show Author Affiliations
Erick T. Young, SOFIA Science Ctr., NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Terry L. Herter, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Rolf Güsten, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
Edward W. Dunham, Lowell Observatory (United States)
Eric E. Becklin, SOFIA Science Ctr., NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Pamela M. Marcum, SOFIA Science Ctr., NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Alfred Krabbe, Deutsches SOFIA Institut, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
B.-G. Andersson, SOFIA Science Ctr., NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
William T. Reach, SOFIA Science Ctr., NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Hans Zinnecker, SOFIA Science Ctr., NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Deutsches SOFIA Institut (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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