We're going to take to the skies with SOFIA and look at how awesome this instrument is to astronomy!
SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is a collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). SOFIA is an airborne observatory, meaning the telescope, lenses, and cameras are on board a Boeing 747SP.
Here's come more cool facts about this incredible observatory:
1-The telescope used is a 2.5 m (8.2 ft) inch reflector
2-There are a total of nine instruments that can be used, each spanning a different wavelength, spectral range, and photometry.
3-The mirror has to be recoated in California about 1-2 times per year!
4-Primary science objectives include: exoplanetary atmospheres, structure of comets, chemistry and structure of stars and interstellar medium
5-June 2015, Pluto passed between a star and Earth, allowing the backlight of that star to help us determine the atmosphere of Pluto!
You can track where SOFIA is: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA747
Thank you for reading and next week- Earth as our Space Lab III