GREAT results of the early science flights with SOFIA, the airborne observatory, puiblished in the European scientific journal 'Astronomy & Astrophysics'.
'Encounter' a satellite in orbit, view the Moon and the Rhine Valley in 3D, board SOFIA, the airborne observatory, or visit the wind tunnel or astronaut training facility to experience the extreme conditions to which materials and people are exposed in space – these are just a few of the many space-related activities that DLR in Cologne will make available to the general public on 18 September 2011.
During the night of 14 to 15 July 2011, two German teachers flew on board the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, for the first time. Wolfgang Viesser from the Christoph-Probst Gymnasium in Munich and Jörg Trebs from the Thomas-Mann Oberschule in Berlin were selected to join a team from the German SOFIA Institute (DSI), the University of Stuttgart and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to experience first-hand precisely how 'live' research on SOFIA is conducted at an altitude of 14 kilometres.
During 2010, SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy – a joint project of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and NASA – achieved programme goals and passed milestones at a pace almost as fast as the observatory can fly.
On 6 April 2011, German scientists carried out their first astronomical observations on board the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA. A joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), SOFIA is the world's only operational airborne observatory. The first observations with the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies, GREAT, included spectra of the Omega Nebula (M17) an active star-forming region in the Milky Way, and the galaxy IC 342, located a few million light years away.
On 21 and 22 January 2011, the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies, GREAT, was installed on Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, for the first time. The installation and first tests were successful. Further tests will follow before the first scientific flight of SOFIA with GREAT on board takes place in April 2011.
A mid-infrared mosaic image from the SOFIA airborne observatory offers new information about processes of star formation in and around the nebula Messier 42, in the constellation Orion. The image data were acquired using the Faint Object Infrared Camera for the SOFIA Telescope, or FORCAST, (principal investigator: Terry Herter, Cornell University) during SOFIA’s Short Science 1 observing program in December 2010.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), has commenced scientific operations. SOFIA took off on its first scientific observation flight on 30 November 2010 at 19:34 hrs local time, from the NASA Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, California. The subject of the night-time observations was the constellation of Orion, with its numerous, interesting star forming regions. The water vapour in Earth's atmosphere does not allow infrared light to pass through, making these observations carried out with SOFIA impossible from the ground.
The German-American Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, completed an important milestone by achieving 'first light' when it performed its first observations during the night between 25 and 26 May 2010. SOFIA is the only airborne observatory in the world, operated jointly by NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The observatory carried out observations of astronomical objects at infrared wavelengths in flight.
The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, is a cooperative German-US space research project. The 2.5-metre telescope, housed in a Boeing 747SP, is designed to observe in the infrared.