Fee Waived for 2019 Winter AAS Workshop


Workshop for FORCAST and HAWC+ Data Analysis at the 2019 Winter AAS

Sunday, January 6, 2019
8:30 am - 5:15 pm PST
Washington State Convention Center, Room 201

The SOFIA Science Center has waived the registration fee for the workshop to ensure that all interested students and scientists attending the 2019 Winter AAS have access to this opportunity to get assistance with learning to use SOFIA data.

More information about the workshop is available on the main SOFIA 2019 Winter AAS event webpage.

Speakers Announced for 2019 Winter AAS Special Session


Speakers Announced for the SOFIA Special Session at the 2019 Winter AAS

“The Role of Magnetic Fields and Filaments in Star Formation” 
Monday, January 7, 2019
2:00–3:30 pm 

List of Speakers

Erin Cox, Northwestern University
Jim Jackson, SOFIA
Giles Novak, Northwestern University
Sarah Sadavoy, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics​
Ian Stephens, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics​

More details on the 2019 Winter AAS Event webpage.

First Cookbook Recipes Released

SOFIA cookbook logo

The Cookbooks Recipes contain guided examples of common data analysis objectives using SOFIA processed data. They are written for a graduate student audience and are intended to be used with the Data Handbooks. 

SOFIA currently has three Cookbook Recipes available:

FIFI-LS: Basic Cube Analysis using SOSPEX
Basic spectroscopic cube analysis using the SOFIA python tool SPecturm Explorer (SOSPEX), which displays FIFILS and GREAT spectral cubes and allows the user to perform a number of basic analysis routines on them. The cube is shown as a 2D image (spatial image obtained as average along the wavelength dimension) and as a spectrum (sum of spatial pixels of the original cube).

FORCAST Photometry
Performing aperture photometry using flux calibrated FORCAST images accessed through Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) files

GREAT: How to View GREAT Spectra Using CLASS Utility
Finding a sample data set through modifying the baseline fit, averaging, and saving the result in a Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) file using the Continuum and Line Analysis Single-dish Software (CLASS) utility, the standard for single-dish heterodyne spectroscopy data reduction.

...and more to come!

The Cookbook Recipes and Data Handbooks are located on the Data Resources webpage.

AAS Events


Here’s a snapshot of SOFIA-related events planned for the 233rd American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting held on January 6–10, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.

More information available on the official event page.


Workshop for FORCAST and HAWC+ Data Analysis

Sunday, January 6, 2019
8:30 am - 5:15 pm PST
Washington State Convention Center, Room 201
Fee: $35

Astronomers interested in learning how to analyze SOFIA data are invited to enroll in the upcoming SOFIA workshop at the AAS. Participants will have the opportunity to work directly with SOFIA scientists on recently obtained, publicly available data sets from polarimetry observations using HAWC+ and FORCAST.

Special Session: The Role of Magnetic Fields and Filaments in Star Formation

Monday, January 7, 2019
2:00–3:30 pm 

SOFIA is organizing this special session to highlight recent advances in observing and understanding magnetic fields and filaments in star formation. It is intended to bring together the latest studies of magnetic fields in star forming regions and the galactic environment. 


Town Hall

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
6:30 - 7:30 pm PST

The Town Hall is a venue for the astronomical community to learn about important new SOFIA programmatic developments and to ask questions about current operations and future plans.

Observatory Tour

Due to impacts to the aircraft’s schedule, all tours scheduled for Monday, January 7-Wednesday, January 9, are cancelled.

Monday, January 8, 2019 - Wednesday January 9, 2019

Tours of SOFIA will be held at Boeing Field, with busses available to transport participants to and from the AAS. Guests will tour the interior of the observatory while learning more about SOFIA’s recent science observations. There is no cost for the tours, however, space is limited.

Cycle 7 Call for Proposals


For all Cycle 7 major updates, visit the Cycle 7 webpage.

Cycle 7 timeline
Cycle 7 will feature two Calls for Proposals issued by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) to solicit observing proposals from the U.S. and international astronomical communities. Proposals for both calls were due Septemeber 7, 2018 and observations are expected to begin April 27, 2019. Approximately 400 hours of observing time are available for regular observing proposals, with $4M in funding available to support guest observers based in the US. Thesis enabling proposals intended to enable and support PhD theses based on SOFIA data will be supported, with highly ranked proposals in this category eligible for up to two years of graduate student support.

In addition to the regular Call for Proposals, Cycle 7 will host a second call to premiere the SOFIA Legacy Program to enable programs spanning two cycles. Each cycle will utilize approximately 50 hours of the 100 total available hours for the Legacy Program for Cycle 7. $1M will be available to support Legacy Programs.

There is an additional call for those affiliated with German institutions administered by the German SOFIA Institute (Deutsches SOFIA Institut; DSI) on behalf of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt; DLR) that will offer an additional approximately 70 hours of observing time.

The Proposal Resources page contains all necessary documentation and useful tools for submitting proposals, including the following documentation for Cycle 7:

Call for Proposals

Legacy Call for Proposals

SOFIA Legacy Budget Template

Observer's Handbook

USPOT Manual

FLITECAM and HIPO Instruments Retired


In accordance with Policy 9 of the Science Utilization Policies for SOFIA, the NASA SMD Astrophysics Director Dr. Paul Hertz has decided to retire the FLITECAM Facility-class Science Instrument, effective February 2018. The decision was also made to remove the Special-purpose Science Instrument HIPO from the list of SOFIA supported instruments. These two instruments will therefore not be offered in future calls, nor be available for DDT proposals. The specifications for FLITECAM and HIPO can still be accessed via the Retired Instruments section of the SOFIA website.

FLITECAM instrument

First Light Infrared TEst CAMera
λ = 1.0 – 5.5 μm
R = 1,100 – 1,800

HIPO instrument

High Speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations
λ = 0.37 – 1.1 μm
R = 0.9 – 29.0

Seeking EXES Instrument Observation Proposals; Deadline Jan. 24


The Science Flight Planning for the SOFIA/EXES Science Flight Series OC6-E (March 27 - April 11) is now under way. Initial planning shows that, because of the anisotropic distribution of proposed Cycle 6 targets, scheduling the highest priority targets imply significant, but unavoidable, dead-legs over the series. SOFIA Science and Mission Operations (SMO) is therefore soliciting Director's Discretionary Time (DDT) proposals for observations that can take advantage of these dead-legs. Proposal deadline is January 24.