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  • Visitors deplane from the SOFIA flying observatory during its weekend visit to NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., where the observatory's astronomical science missions are managed.

    SOFIA Astronomy Ambassador Shares Experiences

    10.20.11 - San Jose high school science teacher Marita Beard shares her experiences after an astronomy flight on NASA's SOFIA airborne observatory.

  • Pamela Harman, SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador program manager (left) Pamela Harman, and teachers Margaret Piper from Lincoln Way High School in Frankfort, Il. (center) and Kathleen Fredette from Desert Willow Intermediate School in Palmdale, Calif., stand before the SOFIA telescope

    Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors Cycle 1 deadline passes

    11.16.11 - The application period for Cycle 1 of NASA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassador program on the SOFIA observatory has closed, but teachers are encouraged to submit applications for Cycle 2 in fall 2012. Learn more

  • SOFIA flying

    SOFIA Observatory Completes German Deployment

    09.23.11 - NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, departed Joint Base Andrews, Md., en route to its home base at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Center in Palmdale, Calif.

  • SOFIA flying observatory climbs out after takeoff.

    Deployment Update

    09.22.11 - NASA’s Flying Telescope Showcased at Joint Base Andrews

  • Image credit: DSI/Thomas Keilig

    Deployment Update

    09.19.11 - SOFIA on Display at Stuttgart, Germany

  • SOFIA lands in Cologne, Germany.

    SOFIA Observatory On First Overseas Deployment

    09.17.11 - The SOFIA flying observatory highlighted at the DLR German Aerospace Day and featured at the German SOFIA Institute's infrared astronomy exhibition.

  • Observatory's Mirror Inspected, Prepares for Deployment

    09.11.11 - SOFIA has completed an avionics upgrade and is currently undergoing inspection and maintenance of its telescope assembly.

  • Retired NASA astronaut and test pilot Fred Haise was more than ready for some left-hand seat flying time when he was given a personal tour of the NASA / DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) by SOFIA 747SP pilot Manny Antimisiaris.

    Retired NASA astronaut, test pilot Fred Haise visits SOFIA

    08.16.11 - Retired NASA astronaut and test pilot Fred Haise was more than ready for some left-hand seat flying time when he was given a personal tour of the NASA / DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) by SOFIA 747SP pilot Manny Antimisiaris at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., on Aug. 12, 2011.

  • NASA Dryden intern Jill Pestana onboard SOFIA.

    Seeing Stars from SOFIA

    08.17.11 - Cal State Long Beach student intern Jill Pestana gives a thumbs-up for her summer internship experience with the NASA / DLR SOFIA flying observatory.

  • A graphic representation of what the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy's high-tech telescope sees on a mission is depicted in this infrared scan

    What the SOFIA's Infrared Telescope Sees

    08.01.11 - A graphic representation of what the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy's high-tech telescope sees on a mission is depicted in this infrared scan during a recent Thursday Night on the Square activity in the NASA Dryden / AERO Institute Educator Resource Center in Palmdale, Calif.

  • The High-Speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations, or HIPO, instrument is attached to the interior portion of the infrared telescope.

    SOFIA Successfully Observes Challenging Pluto Occultation

    06.24.11 - NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy observed the dwarf planet Pluto as it passed in front of a distant star on June 23, 2011. This event, known as an "occultation," allowed scientific analysis of Pluto and its atmosphere by flying SOFIA at the right moment to an exact location where Pluto's shadow fell on Earth.

  • The SOFIA flying observatory's astronomical science and its application to STEM education was highlighted before news and social media June 9.

    SOFIA Observatory Science, Education Showcased

    06.10.11 - The SOFIA flying observatory's astronomical science and its application to STEM education was highlighted before news and social media June 8.

  • A German-built telescope is exposed during a flight of NASA's 747SP.

    NASA Selects Classroom Teachers for SOFIA Science Flights

    05.10.11 - NASA has selected the first six teachers who will work with scientists aboard the SOFIA flying observatory during research flights in May and June.

  • GREAT collected its first THz photons from the M173W star forming cloud April 6, 2011.

    SOFIA's GREAT Spectrometer Collects First Imagery

    04.07.11 - The SOFIA flying observatory recently collected its first infrared imagery with the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies spectrometer.

  • Rainer Strecker, Deutsches SOFIA Institut quality manager, conducts a final inspection and cleaning of the GREAT, spectrometer’s mounting plate prior to mating with the SOFIA telescope.

    GREAT Spectrometer Installed on SOFIA Observatory

    01.31.11 - The German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies, or GREAT, instrument has been mounted on the SOFIA flying observatory for initial tests.

  • The German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies, or GREAT, spectrometer was installed on SOFIA's telescope on March 18, 2011.

    GREAT Spectrometer Readied For Flight on SOFIA

    03.30.11 - Scientists completed nighttime testing of the GREAT spectrometer in preparation for a series of astronomy flights on the SOFIA observatory in April.

  • Faint specks of starlight are reflected by the 100-inch 2.5-meter primary mirror on NASA’s SOFIA observatory during ground testing

    SOFIA 2010: The Year in Review

    03.15.11 - During the past year, the SOFIA Observatory achieved program goals and passed program milestones at a pace almost as fast as the observatory can fly
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  • The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, 747 is bathed by water from the Air Force Plant 42 fire department outside the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., during recent leak checks.

    SOFIA Gets a Shower

    03.10.11 - The SOFIA Observatory 747 gets a shower from the Air Force Plant 42 fire department during recent leak checks of the observatory's telescope cavity door.

  • SOFIA mid-infrared mosaic image of the Messier 42 region from the Short Science 1 observing program.

    SOFIA Opens New Window on Star Formation in Orion

    01.11.11 - A mid-infrared mosaic image from SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) offers new information about processes of star formation in and around the nebula Messier 42 in the constellation Orion.

  • Wendy Dolci holds up two mascots from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory during the KAO time capsule opening ceremony on Nov. 10, 2010.

    NASA Airborne Observatory’s Past Unearthed

    01.04.11 - Fifteen years after its final flight, veterans of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, or KAO, gathered at NASA's Ames Research Center Nov. 10, 2010 to witness the opening of a time capsule.