The NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5-meter infrared telescope on board a Boeing 747-SP, will conduct 0.3 - 1,600 μm photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations from altitudes as high as 45,000 ft., where the average atmospheric transmission is greater than 80 percent. I show how SOFIA can contribute to the characterization of the physical properties of exoplanets by constraining their atmospheres taking advantage of its capability of being an airborne observatory. In this way SOFIA will "fill the gap" in exoplanet atmosphere observations over the next decade, before JWST starts operating. In my presentation I will give a short introduction to the science of extrasolar planets and of the various observational techniques used to obtain the data. Then I will present some sample science cases that either were already or will be conducted in SOFIA's Cycles 1-3.
Studying Exoplanets with SOFIA