Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

E. E. Becklin, R. D. Gehrz, T. L. Roellig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a program to develop and operate a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP, has obtained first science with the FORCAST camera in the 5 to 40 micron spectral region and the GREAT heterodyne spectrometer in the 130 to 240 micron spectral region. We briefly review the characteristics and status of the observatory. Spectacular science results on regions of star formation will be discussed. The FORCAST images show several discoveries and the potential for determining how massive stars form in our Galaxy. The GREAT heterodyne spectrometer has made mapping observations of the [C II] line at 158 microns, high J CO lines, and other molecular lines including SH. The HIPO high speed photometer and the high speed camera FDC were used to observe the 2011 June 23 UT stellar occultation by Pluto.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInfrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XX
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
EventInfrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XX - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 13 2012Aug 14 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceInfrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Airborne astronomy
  • Infrared astronomy
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • NASA


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