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).
Magnetic field streamlines detected by SOFIA are shown over an image of the Keyhole Nebula, part of the larger Carina Nebula, imaged with the ESO 3.6-metre telescope on La Silla. (NASA, the SOFIA science team, Y. Seo; ESO)
SOFIA Observes Venus: A Delicate Dance to Understand Our Hot and Cloudy Twin’s Atmosphere
Written by Maggie McAdam on behalf of the SOFIA Project SOFIA recently completed a new set of observations of Venus to study the chemical composition of the planet’s atmosphere. Observing Venus was particularly challenging. Venus was in a tricky part of the sky to observe, and the Sun was about to set. For safety reasons, …