Reflections on SOFIA

Wednesday, November 09, 2016 - 3:30pm PST
Hans Zinnecker
Deutsches SOFIA Institut
N232, room 103
Event Type: 

SOFIA - quo vadis? After 6.5 years with SOFIA, as deputy director and German representative in the SMO, it is time to say good-bye, but not without a few thoughts of reflection on the past and, in particular, on the future. I will start with what SOFIA was like in 2010, including the first science observations and discoveries with GREAT and FORCAST. and review the progress since then, in particular what I personally consider to be SOFIA highlights emphasizing where SOFIA goes beyond Herschel.  I will also discuss what I see as my successes and failures, offer some suggestions for improvement to the program, and end with my own personal future science vision for SOFIA, including ways to strengthen the US/German partnership.  Given all the new instrumentation and also the human factor, SOFIA will remain scientifically productive and appealing in many ways, which is why I believe SOFIA has a bright future, despite some critical views in the community. We must and we can defend SOFIA with pride and passion, and determination.  Let us not forget: We are on a mission to better understand the interstellar medium, the stuff between the stars, the stuff we are made of.

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