About SOFIA

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 aircraft is based at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, Calif. The SOFIA Program Office is at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., which manages SOFIA's science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association (USRA; Columbia, Md.) and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI; University of Stuttgart).

No Phosphine on Venus, According to SOFIA

The planet Venus with a spectra laid over it

by Anashe Bandari

Venus is considered Earth’s twin in many ways, but, thanks to the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), one difference now seems clearer: Unlike Earth, Venus does not have any obvious phosphine. Phosphine is a gas found in Earth’s atmosphere, but the announcement of phosphine discovered above Venus’s clouds made headlines in 2020.

Composite image of the nebula RCW 120

Composite image of the nebula RCW 120. The newly formed O star is moving at ~4 km/s toward the South, sweeping up a dense shell of gas with a bow shock at the bottom and broken open at the top. The ring-shaped clouds around the nebula were detected by the Spitzer Space Telescope. SOFIA measured the glowing gas shown in red and blue to study the nebula’s expansion speed and determine its age. The blue and red gas represent, respectively, emission at velocities between -23 and -16 km/s, expanding in the direction toward Earth, and -1 and +3 km/s, expanding away from Earth. The expansion of this shell has triggered the birth of stellar neighbors at breakneck speeds – and reveals that the nebula is younger than previously believed. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SOFIA

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