SOFIA Blog | 06. February 2015 | posted by Dietmar Lilienthal

New challenges for a refurbished observatory

Maintenance is connected with waiting. No wonder then that, near the end of SOFIA's five-month heavy maintenance visit at Lufthansa Technik AG in Hamburg, the researchers could hardly wait for the whole procedure to be completed. I was curious to find out exactly how scientific investigations would improve in the entirely refurbished airborne observatory. SOFIA has been back in service since 13 January, and it is already clear that the conditions for observation on board the recently maintained aircraft have been significantly enhanced.

NASA/CXC/PSU/K.Getman, E.Feigelson, M.Kuhn & the MYStIX team; Infrared:NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), in the constellation of Orion. High-resolution spectra of neutral oxygen and singly ionised carbon, among others, have been measured for the first time in the dark, central regions of the cloud. They permit precise information on the composition and depth structure of the cloud, and how it is moving.

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