SOFIA mission logo! Image credit: NASA

SOFIA mission logo! Image credit: NASA

Greetings, Earthlings!

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!

 SOFIA taking flight! Image credit: NASA/Jim Ross

SOFIA taking flight! Image credit: NASA/Jim Ross

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