NASA / DFRC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / DFRC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
SOFIA (stratospheric observatory for infrared astronomy) telescope, embedded into the body of a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft. This aircraft will be used to fly the 2.5-metre German-built telescope to the stratosphere in the Earth's atmosphere, at about 10-50 kilometres above sea level. Elevating the telescope to this height will allow it to detect infrared light that is normally blocked by water vapour that forms at lower altitudes. Photographed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Centre in California, USA.
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