AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 113. New Science Prospects with 100-Day Ballooning
Special, Oral, Saturday, January 9, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Room 9 (C)

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[113.03] A Stratospheric Observatory for Astronomical Research (SOAR)

G. G. Fazio, G. J. Melnick (SAO)

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has designed a 2-meter balloon-borne telescope, called the Stratospheric Observatory for Astronomical Research (SOAR), to carry out a broad area research program in far-infrared and sumbillimeter astronomy as part of NASA’s Long Duration Balloon Flight Program. Initially, in collaboration with the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, SOAR will have a 225-element bolometer array camera at it focal plane to perform simultaneous three-band photometric mapping at 100, 200, and 300 microns wavelength with diffraction-limited resolution over a field of view of 6.25 arcmin. Flight duration is 10 to 30 days at altitudes of 29 – 38 km, corresponding to a near space environment. In the near future it will be possible to fly a 3-meter balloon-borne telescope for 100 days at these altitudes. The scientific program to be carried out by SOAR includes two of the most important goals of space astronomy in the coming decade: a detailed study of the birth and evolution of galaxies in the early Universe and the study of the birth of stars in our Galaxy.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: gfazio@cfa.harvard.edu

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