Episode 42: SOFIA – A Telescope on a Plane


SOFIA's 100 Inch Diameter Telescope

Dana Backman is the Outreach Director for SOFIA – The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.  Essentially, SOFIA is a modified 747SP with telescope in its fuselage.  A joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (NASA supplied the aircraft and the telescope was built in Germany), SOFIA is the largest airborne astronomical observatory that will allow astronomers to peer into the visible, infrared and sub-millimeter spectrum of space – above the majority of water vapor in the atmosphere.  Dana talks with us about the aircraft, the mission, and some exciting opportunities for science teachers.

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Direct download: LOL42.mp3