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26 September 2007 Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)
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The joint U.S. and German SOFIA project to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP is now in its final stages of development. Flying in the stratosphere, SOFIA allows observations throughout the infrared and submillimeter region with an average transmission of ≥ 80%. The SOFIA instrument complement includes broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km/s resolution. These instruments will enable SOFIA to make unique contributions to a broad array of science topics. First science flights will begin in 2009, and the observatory is expected to operate for more than 20 years. The sensitivity, characteristics, science instrument complement, and examples of first light science are discussed.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
E. E. Becklin, A. G. G. M. Tielens, R. D. Gehrz, and H. H. S. Callis "Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)", Proc. SPIE 6678, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XV, 66780A (26 September 2007);


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