SOFIA Highlights: Extragalactic
By Joan Schmelz
How do astronomers understand galaxies that are so far away that they may appear as a simple point source, even when observed with the most powerful telescopes? One proven technique is to study local analogues, galaxies that might have similar properties but are close enough to resolve their structures. A study like this was underway when researchers discovered something extraordinary – their observation was 10 times stronger than predicted.
By Terry Jones, Arielle Moullet, Kassandra Bell, and Joan Schmelz
Paper: SOFIA Far Infrared Imaging Polarimetry of M82 and NGC 253: Exploring the Super–Galactic Wind
Jones, Terry Jay, et al., 2019, ApJL, 870, L9.
Researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio using observations from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, found that the dust surrounding active, ravenous black holes are much more compact than previously thought.
SOFIA made observations of ionized carbon (CII) at the center of IC 342 galaxy using the GREAT (German REceiver for Astronomy at Terahertz frequencies) far-IR spectrometer in September 2011 as part of the mission’s Early Science program.