LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SOFIA infrared observatory. Artwork of SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), a modified Boeing 747. Flying above much of the disturbance and pollution of the lower atmosphere, SOFIA's 2.5-metre reflecting telescope will be used to study: nebulae (pink, upper left), star-forming regions (red, upper right), planetary discs (blue & orange, upper right), carbon-based molecules (lower left to far right), galaxies like our Milky Way (blue & yellow, lower right), super- novae (yellow, lower left), comets (lower left) and planets (centre left). SOFIA, a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Centre, DLR, is expected to begin flying in 2004.
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