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Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA): Overview, The New Science Results, and Future Opportunities

Physics/Astro Auditorium

Eric Becklin (UCLA)

November 1 @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP, has now successfully obtained first science with 7 instruments.   The present instruments include the FORCAST camera in the 5 to 40 micron spectral region, the GREAT heterodyne spectrometer in the 63 to 240 micron spectral region, the FIFI-LS 50-210 micron imaging spectrometer, the EXES 5-28 micron high-resolution spectrometer and HAWC+ a 50 to 240 micron imaging polarimeter.   An overview of the flying observatory, the instruments and new science results will be presented. Emphasis will be given to several observations of the Galactic Center Region and spectacular HAWC+ imaging polarimeter results.  Future observing opportunities and participation in future instrument developments, over the 20 year lifetime of the observatory will be discussed.