With the unprecedented visual light dimming of Betelgeuse seen in the fall of 2019, going into the new year 2020, many scientific questions arose as to the nature of this event and its characteristics at other wavelengths. Under several DDT programs, SOFIA has recently observed Betelgeuse as follows:

  • EXES: Observed about 50 min total, centered on the [Fe II] line 25.9884 microns and [S I] at 25.2516 microns, also including water features at 25.32 microns (note that comparable data obtained in 2015 and 2017 is also available in the archive). Proposal ID: 75_0051
  •  FIFI-LS: Observed about 45 min covering [O I] 63 microns, [O I] 145 microns, [C II] 157microns and a number of CO lines. Proposal ID: 75_0052
  • GREAT: Observed about 1 hour covering the [OI] 63 microns and [C II] 157 microns lines. Proposal ID: 75_0050

These data will have no exclusive use period and are publicly available through the IRSA archive once the pipeline processing and quality control is complete.

This Archival Research Flash Call invites proposals for funding to support the analysis and facilitate timely publication of one or more of these data sets. As a funding call, this Flash Call is open to qualified astronomers with US affiliations, although access to the SOFIA archive is freely available and not limited to those eligible to apply for this funding. The SOFIA program expects that a total budget of up to approximately $100k will be available for this call. Note that larger funding requests for research on SOFIA archival public data can be submitted through the Astrophysics Data Analysis (ADAP) NASA program.

Each proposal shall be be prepared and submitted as a single .pdf file in an e-mail attachment to flash_call@sofia.usra.edubefore April 24, 2020 - 6 pm PDT. A proposal template and a a budget template are available.

More detailed information about the scope of the proposal and proposal guidance can be found in the Betelgeuse Data Archival Research Call For Proposals. For further questions or help in preparing proposals, please contact the SOFIA Help desk at