NASA’s Stratospheric Anchor for Bittersweet Astronomy, SOFIA, is branch to Christchurch, New Zealand, to abstraction angelic altar best beheld from the Southern Hemisphere. Observations will accommodate targets that are too low to beam or not arresting at all from the Northern Hemisphere—including our adjoining galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud, the centermost of our own Milky Way galaxy, and Saturn’s moon Titan.
As in antecedent years, SOFIA will accomplish from National Science Foundation’s U.S. Antarctic Program ability at Christchurch International Airport. But this is the aboriginal year that the observatory’s newest instrument, the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus (HAWC ), which can abstraction angelic alluring fields, will be acclimated in the Southern Hemisphere.
“In the Southern Hemisphere, the centermost of our Milky Way galaxy is about anon overhead, putting it in a prime breadth for us to beam it,” said Jim De Buizer, Universities Space Research Association’s SOFIA chief scientist. “We can additionally see the the Magellanic Clouds, which accept an ambiance agnate to the aboriginal universe, absolution us abstraction brilliant accumulation there as a proxy for what it was like in the aboriginal universe.”
Over seven weeks, 19 brief flights are planned. Some highlights of the planned observations include:
SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner adapted to backpack a 106-inch bore telescope.
Image of the Centermost of the Milky Way Galaxy, taken with SOFIA’s arresting ablaze adviser camera while celebratory over New Zealand. Credit: USRA/Nicholas A. Veronico
Analyze further: NASA’s aerial anchor SOFIA to analyze alluring cosmos and above
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