SOFIA Infrared Boeing 747 telescope.

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SOFIA = Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy.

Amazing test flight, hugely successful.

The Infrared NASA / DLR telescope was taken to high altitude in the modified Boeing 747 SP aircraft (herself a beautiful aircraft & piece of engineering).

SOFIA is a joint NASA/ DLR project. DLR the German Space Agency (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt) & part of ESA, who have carried out many collaborative research projects with NASA.

Article here. SOFIA First Light.

SOFIA telescope.

SOFIA taking off.

SOFIA Boeing 747 & F18 during an engineering trial flight over California, USA..

SOFIA over the snow capped southern Sierra's California, USA.

First light images from 11,000 metres / 36,100'.

Messier 82.

Planet Jupiter. SOFIA image on right.


Andrew Brown.


Resolution seems to be somewhat... unimpressive :?
But I guess that once you have a platform, you can put variety of photochips inside. Good to see that the image is not shaken.


Thank you, nice starting set :cool:

Wiki : Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for the construction and maintenance of an airborne telescope. Universities Space Research Association (USRA) was awarded the contract by NASA in 1996 for development, operation of the observatory and management of the American part while the DSI (Deutsches SOFIA Institut) manages the German part (mainly science and telescope related). SOFIA's telescope saw first light on May 26, 2010.


Guest : SOFIA Observatory Prepares For Early Science Flights
October 5, 2010

by Beth Hagenauer

Cornell University's Faint Object Infrared Camera for the SOFIA Telescope, or FORCAST, is shown attached to the SOFIA telescope. (NASA / Tony Landis)

( -- Testing of the entire integrated observatory system and individual subsystems on NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy 747SP is slated to occur during October during a series of nighttime, ground-based observations.
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