The telescope weighs 19 tons (38,000 pounds) and is mounted in the rear fuselage of a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft.Unparalleled astronomical science capabilitiesThe Orion star-formation complex was taken by the SOFIA telescope using the FORCAST mid-infrared camera. Turning SOFIA's telescope to the moon in 2018, the research team picked out two sunlit surfaces: one at high latitudes near Clavius crater and one that was closer to the equator. But this 747SP is even more special than most. April 2012 By using SOFIA, scientists hope to better understand how stars and planets are formed, how organic materials necessary for life form and evolve in space, and how the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy influences its surroundings.Technology DevelopmentThe German-built telescope assembly seen through the telescope cavity door in the side of NASA's SOFIA 747SP offers a view of both the primary and secondary mirrors, the latter a small black circle in the center supported by three braces. The image was taken by the SOFIA (“Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy”) flying telescope. SOFIA will continue the legacy begun by Gerard Kuiper well into the 21st Century. The image is a composition of infrared data that was captured over the course of eight different SOFIA flights and then woven together with additional infrared data from other telescopes… We use ads to keep our content free. This is a redirection page In case the javascript redirection does not work, please click on the link below: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/SOFIA/index.html SOFIA features a German-built far-infrared telescope with an effective diameter of 100-inches (2.5 meters). Without the deployment capabilities of SOFIA, these observations could not have occurred. (Image … And it’s no quiet retirement for the airliner either – NASA plans to operate around 100 observation flights a year with SOFIA, each one taking around eight to 10 hours. SOFIA studied Pluto just two weeks before New Horizon’s flyby in July 2015. The telescope onboard this special aircraft is a 2.5m reflector telescope, with a 2.7m primary mirror. For this, NASA enlisted the help of Raytheon, a specialist intelligence and information company headquartered in Dulles, Virginia. Training is also provided for undergraduate and graduate-level scientists, engineers and technologists by enabling their participation in the design and development of instruments, as well as the execution and analysis of astronomical observations made using the SOFIA telescope.Development Status The program is managed at NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., where the aircraft is based. The 747SP was originally delivered to Pan American World Airways on the 6th May 1977, and was passed over to United Airlines on the 13th of February 1986. Also in the pressurized section, and in the mid-section of the aircraft, is the main mission control and science operations area. Leading up to that milestone, SOFIA will undergo alternating periods of science flights and long-term development of the observatory, including installation of upgraded software and hardware control systems, commissioning of science instruments, avionics modernization and routine maintenance of the aircraft. Most of the seats on SOFIA have been removed, although it can still carry around 20 people on its scientific flights. NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency. SOFIA made its first official science flight on Nov. 30, 2010. Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Journal of Biomedical Optics Journal of Electronic Imaging Journal of Medical Imaging Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Journal of Nanophotonics Neurophotonics Journal of Photonics for Energy Optical Engineering Ebooks The focal point of the telescope is, however, housed in the pressurized section of the plane. The telescope onboard this special aircraft is a 2.5m reflector telescope, with a 2.7m primary mirror. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, watch NASA TV live, and learn about our quest to reveal the unknown and benefit all humankind. For a start, its full of scientists and has an almost 20-ton telescope in the back. Meet SOFIA – a jetliner specially fitted with a mega-telescope! Please Support us by turning off your adblocker. This allows it to be opened in flight to allow the telescope access to the sky. SOFIA had to fly thousands of miles to catch this very rare event at an otherwise empty spot over the eastern Pacific. These can see details about three tenths of an arc second. Although the aircraft may sometimes experience turbulence, the telescope has been designed to not be affected by this, as its mountings allow it to ‘float’ and avoid the bumps on board. Of course, you can’t just install a gigantic telescope on a 747 without some serious modifications. But unlike a space telescope, SOFIA can easily come back down to Earth for repairs. An image of stars forming in the W51 stellar nursery. The observatory operates at altitudes between 12 and 14 km. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, watch NASA TV live, and learn about our quest to reveal the unknown and benefit all humankind. At the start of this year, SOFIA returned us with previously unseen images of what NASA calls a ‘star factory’. Sofía Suescun ha vuelto a compartir con sus seguidores unas imágenes de lo más sexys…. Further forward, the aircraft houses an education and public outreach area. Although some might have royalty on board, no other 747SP on Earth has a 17-ton infrared telescope mounted in its fuselage. SOFIA, when cruising at around 40,000 – 45,0000 feet, flies above this vapor, allowing for crisp, clear images of space as seen in the infrared spectrum. It arrived with NASA in October 1997, and has even had its original name restored to its fuselage – Clipper Lindbergh. A modified Boeing 747 aircraft opens a hatch during flight to reveal a large, 2.7-meter reflecting telescope. Educators take what they learn during their SOFIA training and flights back to their classroom and their communities to improve curricula and generate interest in STEM-related courses and careers. Â, SOFIA - NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. "First light," the first time the telescope collected astronomical data, was achieved on May 25, 2010. Being the world’s largest airborne astronomical observatory, the telescope has the ability to produce a higher resolution image, three times higher in … SOFIA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program gives middle- and high-school teachers and science museum educators hands-on experience in scientific and astronomical research as they work with scientists during missions on the flying observatory. SOFIA’s image size and image jitter goals are derived from a diffraction limited image for wavelengths beyond 25 μ m (1st goal). By flying high above the clouds, SOFIA can always get a good view. A telescope in the back of a modified 747 jet has snapped images of the Orion Nebula at a colour of light no other observatory in the world can see. This 2-minute, 57-second NASA animation created in 2007 illustrates the movements of the 2.5-meter telescope and the layout of the cabin on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). It is the successor to Kuiper, NASA’s previous airborne space observatory which was retired in 1995. Photo: NASA/Jim Ross via Wikimedia Commons The SOFIA telescope is a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), an 80-20% partnership. Have you ever seen SOFIA? These and other forthcoming data will help astronomers answer many fundamental questions about the creation and evolution of the universe. Photo: The green light on the control panel shows the pilots that SOFIA's door is still open. The new image the team created shows how SOFIA's work complements the observations of other telescopes. Sofía es la capital y la ciudad más grande de la República de Bulgaria.Con una población de 1 269 384 habitantes en 2018, se trata de la 14.ª mayor ciudad de la Unión Europea, donde ingresó en enero del 2007, y alrededor de 1.380.406 en su área metropolitana, la Provincia Capital. Editor -  Joanna has worked in publishing for more than a decade and is fast becoming a go-to source for commercial aviation analysis. As the world's largest flying observatory, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a unique space-science asset. Applications in ground-based astronomy are also expected. His work led to the development of NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory, a modified C-141 aircraft incorporating a 36-inch reflecting telescope that flew from 1974 to 1995. (This statement applies only to telescopes that use visible light and make images or photographs.) Initial "routine" science observation flights began in December 2010 [12] and the observatory is slated for full capability by … SOFIA also has observed the occultation of a star by the dwarf planet Pluto. The aircraft has been flying since 2010 and is planned to be operational until the early 2030s. (NASA / Tom Tschida) › View Larger Image SOFIA is also a cutting-edge laboratory for the development and testing of astronomical instrumentation and detector technology by scientists at NASA centers, universities and colleges across the country. NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency. During its 21-year lifetime, the Kuiper Observatory focused on solar system, galactic and extra-galactic astronomy, and was used in the discovery of the rings of Uranus, a ring of star formation around the nucleus of the Milky Way, luminous infrared galaxies, complex organic molecules in space, and water in comets. The SOFIA is a joint program of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt). Information on the SOFIA instruments may be found on their respective instrument overview … SOFIA, the U.S. space agency’s telescope-equipped jumbo jet, took its first in-flight photos May 26, capturing multicolored infrared images of Jupiter and the galaxy M82. The next best telescopes are the Keck Telescopes in Hawaii and some telescopes in Chile. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, more concisely named by its acronym SOFIA, is a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Raytheon began work on the adaptation of SOFIA back in 1998. Once validated, the technologies developed will also be useful in future space missions. The SOFIA FORCAST mosaic (color) is superimposed on a star field image from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., manages the SOFIA science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association in Columbia, Md., and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut in Stuttgart, Germany. With the help of the staff of the NASA Ames SpaceShop Rapid Prototyping Facility, the SOFIA mission team created an eight-piece, 3D-printable model of the modified 747SP aircraft, its telescope and cabin. SOFIA is not a new aircraft. Sofia’s 2.5-meter diameter telescope allows astronomers to access the visible, infrared and sub-millimeter spectrum. Unlike space telescopes, which go up into orbit, never to return, SOFIA has the added advantage of being back on the ground at the end of every mission. NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is the world's largest airborne astronomical observatory, complementing NASA's space telescopes as well as major Earth-based telescopes. From its outside appearance, the NASA Boeing 747 looks very much like any other. using SOFIA Telescope, NASA found water on the Moon's sunlit surface for the first time. The SOFIA education and outreach program is designed to help enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in U.S. and German communities. SOFIA's ability to return to Earth after each flight enables frequent opportunities for upgrading and installing new science instruments, permitting ongoing development of new astronomical technology throughout its lifetime.Education and Public Outreach The telescope itself is located behind a pressurized bulkhead, so that the rest of the cabin can remain pressurized for the comfort of the scientists on board. Let us know in the comments. Recent test results indicate that the SOFIA telescope optics are of better quality than the initial requirement 3 , but image motion at first light is expected to be approximately 2 arcsec rms 4. This program enabled eight teachers to fly on SOFIA in 2011, with another 26 U.S. educators selected to fly in 2012 and 2013. The modified Boeing 747 flew over the Pacific Ocean and pointed its nearly 9-foot telescope at Pluto during an occultation, an eclipse-like event in which Pluto cast a faint shadow on Earth’s surface as it passed in front of a … Over a blanket of snow covering California's southern Sierra Nevada mountains, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) flies with the sliding door over its telescope cavity fully open. Its seven first-generation instruments, including cameras, spectrographs and a high-speed photometer, together with its future-generation instruments, will enable a wide variety of astronomical science observations. In addition, instruments like EXES (Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph) as introduced in Richter et al. SOFIA is an 80/20 partnership of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), consisting of an extensively modified Boeing 747SP aircraft carrying a 2.7-meter (106 inch) reflecting telescope (with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters or 100 inches). The resulting dip in the brightness of the star allowed astronomers to determine the structure of Pluto's atmosphere. SOFIA's telescope saw first light on May 26, 2010, returning images showing M82's core and heat from Jupiter's formation escaping through its cloud cover. It looks out of a large door in the port side of the aircraft near the tail. Preliminary scientific operations with the observatory began in 2010, providing astronomers with early access to the visible, infrared and sub-millimeter wavelength bands with optimized performance in the mid-infrared to sub-millimeter range. Infrared light from the red supergiant star Antares, emitted more than 550 years ago, was observed by SOFIA using a camera called the Faint Object InfraRed Camera for the SOFIA Telescope, or FORCAST, developed by Cornell University. SOFIA’s telescope is usually referred to as a 2.5-meter meter telescope, rather than 2.7 meters, because the optical design requires that only about 90% of the mirror’s reflecting surface (called the "effective aperture") can be used at any one time. Now you can print your own 3D model of SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. Because SOFIA can fly virtually anywhere in the world, change instruments between flights, and implement new capabilities, it provides greater adaptability than any space-based telescope. SOFIA, when cruising at around 40,000 – 45,0000 feet, flies above this vapor, allowing for crisp, clear images of space as seen in the infrared spectrum. 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