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Session 9 - SOFIA and IR Instrumentation.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, is a 2.7 meter telescope which is scheduled to begin observations in a Boeing 747 in October 2001. Among other SOFIA science instruments recently selected for development is the facility spectrometer AIRES. AIRES is designed for studies of a broad range of phenomena occuring in the interstellar medium (ISM) which are uniquely enabled by SOFIA. Examples include accretion and outflow in protostars and young stellar objects, the morphology, dynamics, and excitation of neutral and ionized gas at the Galactic center, and the recycling of material to the ISM from evolved stars.
Astronomers using AIRES will be able to select any wavelength from 17 to 210 \mum., with corresponding spectral resolving powers ranging from 60,000 to 4000 in less than a minute. This entire wavelength range is important because it contains spectral features, often widely separated in wavelength, which characterize fundamental ISM processes. AIRES will utilize two-dimensional detector arrays and a large echelle grating to achieve spectral imaging with excellent sensitivity and unparalleled angular resolution at these wavelengths. As a facility science instrument, AIRES will provide guest investigators frequent opportunities for far infrared spectroscopic observations when SOFIA begins operations.
Program listing for Wednesday