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SOFIA Airborne Telescope Offers Unique View of the Stars

By: CBS
By: CBS

This is one of NASA's newest tools for looking deep into space -

It's called the stratospheric observatory for infrared astronomy- SOFIA - for short.

SOFIA is a converted 747 with a 100 inch infrared telescope inside - designed to complement the Hubble space telescope and it is easier and cheaper to upgrade than a satellite.

As part of its mission - SOFIA carries teachers and students aboard to do their own research

Ryan Lau has flown seven times - and he's made a significant discovery

Ryan found very fine dust particles orbiting a super massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Scientists from around the world are lining up for a seat.

Sofia has already contributed to four major breakthroughs in astronomy.

The SOFIA mission costs $80 million dollars per year.
NASA has committed to a 20 year mission that ends in 2027.


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