Articles for "Astronomy"

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Space | 08. December 2010 | 2 Comments

On board the third SOFIA science flight

After the first SOFIA science flight from 30 November to 1 December 2010, yesterday's third flight already had a certain feeling of routine to it. But not for me – the last time I flew with an airborne observatory (KAO, the predecessor to SOFIA) was in July 1987! On the morning of 7 December, the latest updated software packages, with the scientific objectives and the resulting flight plan, were loaded into the onboard computers and the FORCAST instrument was filled with liquid nitrogen and helium. The crew briefing at 1:45 pm briefly went over all aspects of the mission and last minute changes to the schedule, and then we embarked on the aircraft at 2:15 pm. read more

Space | 24. November 2010 | posted by Heinz-Theo Hammes

Ground-based training for science with SOFIA


Shortly before the start of the first science flight with SOFIA, the mission crew trained for the sequence of in-flight operations. Pilots, technical staff and researchers simulated mission profiles with observation of an astronomical object, aircraft course alterations and changing to observe another celestial object, among other things. All the routines that occur on a regular basis during a science flight were rehearsed. This can involve changing the elevation of the telescope while at the same time tracking the position of the observatory door, finding and maintaining focus on a celestial object and the interaction of the various systems on board the aircraft. read more

Space | 26. August 2010 | posted by Rolf Hempel | 4 Comments

Walking on the Moon – by telescope

We have all seen the images of the first manned Moon landing in 1969 often enough on the TV and remember the pictures of the lunar surface taken from orbit or from the landing site itself. But how much of all this can be seen with a telescope? And just where is the landing site? Here is a travel guide with a very special destination. read more

Space | 26. May 2010

DLR-Webcast: SOFIA - the flying infrared observatory


The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, is a cooperative German-US space research project. The 2.7-metre telescope, housed in a Boeing 747SP, is designed to observe in the infrared. During flight, a four-by-six-metre door opens at the rear of the aircraft, through which the telescope can view the night sky. The plane is based in California; the telescope was designed and built in Germany. read more

Space | 22. January 2010 | posted by Marco Trovatello

News about SOFIA

The SOFIA ‘flying observatory’, a collaboration between NASA and DLR, is making great progress. After two test flights in December 2009, a third successful flight was made on 15 January 2010. A brief news roundup. read more