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Departmental Colloquium

The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA): Studying the Universe while Traveling at Mach 0.85  
Guest Speaker
Dr. James De Buizer  
Guest Affiliation
Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, NASA Ames Research Center  
Prof. Inseok Song  
Thursday, March 2, 2017 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm  
Physics Auditorium (Rm 202)  
SOFIA is an airborne observatory that consists of a 2.7m telescope mounted in a heavily modified Boeing 747 aircraft. Flying at altitudes up to 45000 feet, SOFIA can get above enough of the atmosphere to open up a broad swath of infrared wavelengths for scientific investigation which are completely unobservable from the ground. SOFIA has a large suite of science instruments covering a broad range of wavelengths and spectral resolutions, which make the observatory capable of performing a huge breadth of astronomical science from the optical to far-infrared. SOFIA is just beginning its 5th annual observing cycle, and has already produced a host of interesting science results. In this talk, I will discuss what makes this such a unique observatory in both form and function, and will highlight some of the more interesting science results obtained so far.