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23 June 2006 The SOFIA program: astronomers return to the stratosphere
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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.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Sean C. Casey "The SOFIA program: astronomers return to the stratosphere", Proc. SPIE 6267, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes, 62670Q (23 June 2006);


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