Cycle 10 Calls for Proposals Released

The calls for Cycle 10 observations are open as of October 29, 2021, with a deadline of January 28, 2022, 21:00 PST (January 29, 2022 4:00 UTC). Detailed information about the Cycle 10 calls can be found here.

Two Calls for Proposals are offered:

  • A Call for regular programs, for which approximately 550 hours of observing time is offered and funding up to $5.5M is expected to be available for eligible proposers
  • A Call for the SOFIA Legacy Program, which solicits observing programs that will enable a rich archival dataset of significant scientific value to the astronomical community. Up to three legacy proposals will be accepted, with each allocated up to ~200 hours of observing time (~100 hours of observations per cycle). Funding is expected to be available at the level of $2M per year.

All six instruments -- EXES, FIFI-LS, FORCAST, FPI+, GREAT, and HAWC+ -- will be available during the Cycle (October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023). SOFIA plans to carry out three Southern deployments: a long deployment scheduled approximately June through September 2023 (GREAT and HAWC+), and two short deployments in November 2022 (FIFI-LS) and March 2023 (EXES). Formal updates to the Calls will be provided on December 10, 2021.

Registration Open for 'Evolved Stars and their Circumstellar Environments' Workshop

The upcoming online workshop 'Evolved Stars and their Circumstellar Environments', happening on December 14-17, will be an exciting platform for discussions about the current main questions in the field of evolved stars, and the next observational opportunities. The event will explore how theoretical and observational studies of evolved stellar objects can contribute to the understanding of a critical part of stellar evolution. It will feature discussions on synergies between infrared observations and other techniques, and how laboratory work can contribute to the advancement of the field. Invited talks by J. Cernicharo, C. Kemper, H. Linnarz, G. Sloan and L. Ziurys are confirmed.

We encourage community members to submit an abstract for a contributed talk (submission deadline is November 22nd). There is no registration deadline or fee, and we strongly support participation from all interested scientists, in particular early-career.

Registration Open for 'Our Galactic Ecosystem: Opportunities and Diagnostics in the Infrared and Beyond'

This conference, taking place February 28-March 4, 2022, will allow in-person discussions of the results and future opportunities in studying galactic ecosystems with FIR and sub-mm wave methods, using SOFIA, ALMA and other platforms. A specific goal is to explore synergy between observatories, including SOFIA, ALMA, JWST, and with theory. Registration is now open on the conference website. Registration fees include room and board at the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Lodge, in the majestic mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest.

EXES Becomes Facility Instrument

On October 1st, 2021, the Echelon-Cross- Echelle Spectrograph instrument onboard SOFIA (EXES) became a facility science instrument, joining FORCAST, HAWC+ and FIFI-LS. EXES has demonstrated its performance on SOFIA for many years as a PI-led instrument, has completed commissioning, and has a mature data reduction pipeline.The transition from a PI-led instrument to a facility science instrument was initiated with the goal of expanding EXES community to maximize the scientific potential and impact of the instrument.

New Public Data Pipeline: FLITECAM

We are pleased to announce that the FLITECAM pipeline is now available to the public. This new and improved pipeline will allow users to reprocess archival FLITECAM data and better understand FLITECAM’s science products. The pipeline software and its documentation are available through SOFIA's GitHub repository. Additional information, including user manuals and step-by-step tutorials for FLITECAM’s imaging and grism modes, can be found on our Data Pipelines web page.

Flash Call for FORCAST Observations

The SOFIA program invites Director's Discretionary Time (DDT) proposals, through this "Flash Call", for observations with the FORCAST Long Wavelength Camera in the celestial region: RA, Dec: 13h - 19h, > +70˚, to be executed during flights at the end of June 2021. A total of up to ~6h of observing time is available, depending on detailed flight planning constraints. 

The defining observations for three of the flights in the upcoming SOFIA/FORCAST series (OC8O), June 28 - July 3, are of the Moon, using the Short Wavelength Camera. Because of array latency, scientific observations with that camera are not viable for the rest of each flight. Based on initial flight plans, a set of end-of-flight, return-legs are, however, available for observations with the Long Wavelength Camera (LWC), in imaging or grism mode. Scientific observations with the FPI+ camera are also possible.

Because the details of flight legs are only settled once flight plans are laid out (relatively close to the flight dates), the turn-around for this Flash Call is short and proposals are due by 11:59pm on Wednesday May 26, 2021 (PDT). More information.

SOFIA Upgrading One-of-a-kind Camera

After making numerous discoveries of how magnetic fields shape our universe, an instrument flying on board the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy is about to get even faster at gathering data.

SOFIA is upgrading the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus, or HAWC+ with four new detectors that will allow it to study magnetic fields in distant galaxies four times faster than its current rate.

Read the full story here.

Instrument Roadmap Report Available

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.

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