SOFIA now accepting observing proposals

May 2, 2016, NASA
The NASA logo on Bldg. 703 at Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, Calif., is reflected in the telescope's 2.5-meter primary mirror. Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida

The Science Center for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, is now accepting proposals for observing flights from February 2017 to January 2018.

The observatory's position, above more than 99% of the water vapor in Earth's atmosphere, and its suite of seven highly-specialized instruments, make it ideally suited for use in studying a variety of astronomical objects and phenomena including:

  • The life cycle of stars
  • Formation of new solar systems
  • Black holes at the center of galaxies
  • Planets, comets, and asteroids in our solar system
  • Complex molecules in space identification
  • Nebulae and interstellar dust

As a partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center, DLR, there are approximately 476 hours of observing time available through the SOFIA Science Center and approximately 84 hours available through the DLR. U.S. and German review panels made of experts from the scientific community will evaluate the scientific merits of submitted proposals.

SOFIA lifts off from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif., at sunset. Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas

Details and proposal guidelines are available: go.nasa.gov/1rGiHeA

SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center. NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, manages the SOFIA program, science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI) at the University of Stuttgart. The aircraft is based at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center's hangar 703, in Palmdale, California.

Explore further: SOFIA set to begin cycle two astronomy observations

More information: Details and proposal guidelines are available: go.nasa.gov/1rGiHeA

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