Searching the Skies with SOFIA
Meet members of the NASA team and learn about their amazing flying telescope in this free panel discussion.
Image: NASA/Jim Ross
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the United States of America’s civil space program and the global leader in space exploration.
A partnership between the German Space Agency at DLR and NASA, SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry a 2.7-metre reflecting telescope.
SOFIA flies into the stratosphere at between 11,500 and 13,700 metres, putting it above 99% of Earth's infrared-blocking atmosphere so astronomers can study the solar system and beyond in ways that are not possible with ground-based telescopes.
Since it launched in 2013, SOFIA has spent seven winters based in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Its current visit will be its last international deployment as the SOFIA mission is ending.
This panel discussion will feature pilots, scientists and engineers from the SOFIA team. They will discuss how they came to work for NASA and their scientific mission and the contributions SOFIA has made to understanding space. There will be plenty of time for audience questions.
This event is free to attend but places are limited so please register below if you are keen to attend.