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Astrophysics Branch Overview

Branch Chief: Naseem Rangwala
Assistant Chief: Christine Martinez
Research Support Specialist: Taryn Kavanagh

People about Astrophysics Branch Overview

Researchers in the Astrophysics Branch study the physical and chemical properties of astronomical objects and phenomena by observing their radiation at optical, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths.

Below are the main fields of study:


SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is designed to observe the infrared universe. It is a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry a 2.7-meter reflecting telescope. Flying into the stratosphere at 38,000-45,000 feet puts SOFIA above 99 percent of Earth’s infrared-blocking atmosphere, allowing astronomers to study the solar system and beyond in ways that are not possible with ground-based telescopes.

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