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First results from SOFIA early science observations

Hans Zinnecker

SOFIA Science Center

We will describe the rationale, status, and potential of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), which has sucessfully started semi-regular observing flights in 2011. SOFIA is a Boeing 747-SP aircraft, modified to carry a 2.5m telescope capable of diffraction-limited observations at lambda>20microns. It flies at altitudes up to 45000 feet, above more than 99% of the precipitable water vapor. With a projected lifetime of 20 years it will outlive the Herschel satellite and will be the premier far-infrared platform for the next decade or two. First SOFIA science results include mid-IR (5-40mu) imaging of the Orion BNKL region and the galactic circumnuclear disk (with FORCAST, a camera from Cornell University; PI T. Herter) as well as Tera-Hertz spectroscopic maps of warm CO and the ionized carbon line at 158 microns in the M17SW star forming region (with GREAT, a high spectral resolution heterodyne spectrometer from MPIfR Bonn; PI R. Guesten).

Date: Jeudi, le 20 octobre 2011
Heure: 11:30
Lieu: Université de Montréal
  Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, local D-460
Contact: Nicole St-Louis

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