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SOFIA says, "My telescope stays stable with a spherical bearing, shock absorbers, and gyroscopes."

SOFIA Airborne Telescope Stabilization

Date

How do you keep a telescope stable while flying at 40,000 feet? First, isolate the telescope from the airplane by mounting it on a spherical pressurized oil bearing. Second, direct the wind away from the telescope by shaping the side of the airplane so as to deflect it. Third, stabilize the telescope against sudden motion by spinning three gyroscopes.

Credit
(NASA/SOFIA/USRA/ASP/L. Proudfit)
Image Number
SH-0002

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