Hans Zinnecker (Deutsches SOFIA Institut, Univ. Stuttgart, Germany and SOFIA Science Center, NASA-Ames, Moffett Field, USA)

SOFIA - past, present, and future
When Dec 11, 2014 from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
  • Special Seminar
  • Colloquium
Where SH, Lecture Hall
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SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, which carried out first science flights in mid 2010, has finally reached full operational capability in April 2014. In the second half of 2014, the plane has undergone a major structural overhaul at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. It is now back at its base in Palmdale, southern California.

Cycle 3 observing time (80% US, 20% Germany) has been awarded and some 80 flights will be carried out in 2015, including a southern deployment to New Zealand and a Pluto occultation near Australia (June 29, 2015). In this talk, I will summarize the current status of SOFIA, its instrument suite, and some of the recent science highlights of Cycle 1 and 2 (e.g. star formation and astrochemistry). After a difficult year in terms of NASA support, SOFIA is getting back into gear poised to continue delivering unique mid- and far-infrared science, in the post-Spitzer and post-Herschel era.

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