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).

SOFIA Returns from New Zealand Deployment

SOFIA is seen in front of Building 703 with crew going down the stairs

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has returned to its usual base of operations after a month of science observations in the Southern Hemisphere. The observatory was temporarily based out of Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand. 

OD absorption spectrum over a three-color image of W49A with a plus sign on spectrum position

The two-component OD absorption spectrum from GREAT superposed on a three-color image of W49A; SOFIA-FORCAST 20 μm (blue), SOFIA-FORCAST 37 μm (green), and Herschel-PACS 70 μm (red). Stars are from Spitzer-IRAC 3.6 μm (white). The plus sign marks the position of the spectrum. Credit: De Buizer et al. 2021/SOFIA/Herschel/ESO/Csengeri et al. 2022

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