SOFIA IR Observatory in the Southern Sky

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In summary: Z/NZCH/NZCHIn summary, NASA747 has been conducting flights out of Christchurch, New Zealand since June 5th, 2018. There are 20 more flights planned in this block. SOFIA, the "Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy", is responsible for these flights and can be tracked on FlightAware. It is currently on display in Stuttgart and will be conducting its first observation mission over Europe this week. SOFIA will be retiring this year, but there is a new IR observatory called ASTHROS to look forward to. Since June 21st, 2022, SOFIA has been conducting night flights from Christchurch.
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Baluncore
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Baluncore said:
NASA747 has been flying out of Christchurch, New Zealand since 5th of June 2018. Another 20 flights are planned in this block.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/sofia-to-study-southern-skies-in-new-zealand

The “Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy”, SOFIA, flies an interesting tracking course. You can follow present and review past flight paths here.
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA747/history/20180613/0758Z/NZCH/NZCH
yeah, tis pretty cool. they do annual observing sessions out of Christchurch.
I photo'ed SOFIA in Christchurch some years ago when I was visiting my kids over there. ( pretty sure I posted a pic on here back them)
Prior to SOFIA, NASA used to fly they Kuiper Boeing 747 out of CHCH on regular missions during the winter months.
Several of my fellow NZ astronomers were able to hitch a ride on various flights ... I am very jealous haha

Dave
 
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ahhhh found it :smile:

gosh, 2013, how time flies :wink:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/meet-nasa-sofia-aircraft.702221/
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Man ! ... now I'm even more green with envy ... from my FB page
one of my astro mates has scored a flight on SOFIA as well !

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Ian Griffin
19 hrs ·
That moment you are sitting in a pre flight briefing for SOFIA and the flight is scrubbed due to clouds tomorrow in Auckland and fog in Christchurch.
Never mind! Trying again tomorrow

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The SOFIA IR observatory is on route to Christchurch, New Zealand for this southern winter season.
 
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This week SOFIA will be on display in Stuttgart where around 400 researchers from all over the world come together for a major conference of the Astronomical Society at Stuttgart University, celebrating the centenary of the International Astronomical Union.
The first observation mission over Europe is planned during the week.
 
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Related to SOFIA IR Observatory in the Southern Sky

What is the SOFIA IR Observatory in the Southern Sky?

The SOFIA IR Observatory in the Southern Sky is a state-of-the-art infrared telescope that is mounted on a modified Boeing 747SP airplane. It is a collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Center, and it is used to study the infrared emissions of objects in the universe.

How does the SOFIA IR Observatory work?

The SOFIA IR Observatory works by flying at altitudes of up to 45,000 feet, above most of the Earth's water vapor, which can interfere with infrared observations. It uses a 2.5 meter telescope to collect infrared light and then analyzes the light using various instruments on board the aircraft.

What can the SOFIA IR Observatory be used to study?

The SOFIA IR Observatory can be used to study a wide range of objects in the universe, such as stars, planets, galaxies, and even objects within our own solar system. It is particularly useful for studying objects that emit infrared light, which can provide valuable insights into their composition and behavior.

What is unique about the SOFIA IR Observatory?

The SOFIA IR Observatory is unique because it is a flying telescope, which allows it to access regions of the sky that are not visible from ground-based observatories. It also has a larger telescope and more sensitive instruments than most other infrared telescopes, making it a powerful tool for studying the universe.

What have been some significant discoveries made using the SOFIA IR Observatory?

The SOFIA IR Observatory has made numerous significant discoveries since its first flight in 2010. Some examples include the discovery of water on the moon, the detection of molecular oxygen in a distant galaxy, and the identification of a new type of interstellar dust grain. It continues to make groundbreaking discoveries and provide valuable insights into the universe.

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