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Instrument Roadmap

The Instrument Roadmap, a community-and science-driven plan for SOFIA's instrument suite, is now available to view. The Roadmap is focused on prioritized science cases and the technology needed to enable them. It is built on input from a large scientific community, including more than 300 participants across more than 100 institutions attending dedicated virtual workshops last summer. Read the full Instrument Roadmap report here.


Southern Sources with EXES/SOFIA: A Community Chat

Online Workshop, March 30, 2021, 8:30am to 10:00am PDT

The EXES instrument onboard SOFIA (4.5 – 28.3 μm, R=5000-100000) typically operates during ~ 20 flights per observing cycle, all departing from the NASA Palmdale base. These flights can access a large section of the observing sky, but cannot reach regions with declinations below -36 degrees (and in practice, below -24 degrees for faint sources), which require flights departing from a Southern hemisphere base. The SOFIA Science Center is soliciting input from the astrophysics community at large to evaluate the potential scientific impact unlocked of Southern observations with EXES in the next few years. This 1.5 h webinar is an opportunity for anyone to present ideas about high-impact EXES observations of Southern sources, which will be used as inputs to the development of a long-term Southern deployment strategy, supporting Cycle 10 and beyond. More information.


Rock, Dust and Ice: Interpreting Planetary Data

Online Workshop, 23- 26 March 2021, 8am-11am Pacific Time

How can we leverage multi-wavelength observations, radiative transfer theory and laboratory work to characterize planetary solids? This 4-day virtual workshop will bring together observers, modelers and laboratory astronomers to discuss the interpretation of observations of rocks, ices and dust on and around Solar System objects. A large variety of complementary observational techniques will be featured, via invited and contributed presentations, as well as different methods to constrain solids’ fundamental properties such as composition, porosity, thermal inertia and grain size distribution. The workshop is organized by the SOFIA Science Center, and a special emphasis will be put on mid- and far-IR data. Each daily 3-hour session will include ample time for moderated interdisciplinary discussions. The fourth day will be dedicated to a moderated discussion on databases, archives and public codes.

We welcome attendance from scientists at any career level, especially early career scientists.  The workshop is free but registration is necessary to attend. More information.


SOFIA Begins First Series of Science Flights From Germany

SOFIA will conduct its first ever series of science observations from Germany in February and March, 2021. Many of the observations seek to answer fundamental questions in astronomy, including how stars can transform galaxies and what is the origin of cosmic rays in the Milky Way galaxy. Read the full announcement here.


Observing Proposals Selected for Cycle 9

The SOFIA Science Center is pleased to announce the selection of more than 120 observing programs for Cycle 9 (July 1, 2021 - September 30, 2022). Cycle 9 observations are planned to be distributed over 195 science flights, for a total of 820 observing hours, and with three deployments to the Southern Hemisphere. See the full list of the accepted proposals. Detailed information about the Cycle 9 calls can be found on the Cycle 9 page.


SOFIA at 237th AAS Meeting

SOFIA science was all over the 237th AAS Virtual Meeting January 11-15, 2021! In addition to scientific presentations, the SOFIA Science Center organized several events, including:

More information here.


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