SOFIA-Live From the Stratosphere II ?


From: Laura Lou <lauralou@gatecoms.gatecom.com>
Subject: SOFIA-Live From the Stratosphere II ?
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 11:05:12 -0400


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This is especially for all of you that participated in Live From the
Stratosphere 1965-1966 and look forward to a possible LFS-2 in the year
2001 or 2002. 

If you do not have "Digi-Day Star Calendar" on your school computer I
would advise you to get it.  It is a great way to start each day.  An
astronomy fact comes up each day the first time you turn on your
computer. It is often timely, dealing with the eclipse, the nearness of
Mars, the comets.  There are other Digi-Day programs, but this seems to
be especially well suited for us.  The language is not above my sixth
graders.

Here is Sunday's Digi-Day text.  Copy and paste is one of the many
options available.

Laura
(Michigan)
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SOFIA

Eight miles above Earth's surface, the air is frigid and dry. The stars
shine fiercely, with little of the twinkling that inspires the soul but
muddies the view of the heavens. In other words, it's a perfect spot for
a telescope.

By the first year of the 21st century, NASA should be ready to loft a
large new telescope to that crystalline height. The telescope will fly
about every other night aboard a flying observatory named SOFIA. The
telescope will be bigger than Hubble Space Telescope, and will study
infrared energy -- a form of energy that's invisible to human eyes.

SOFIA will replace an older flying observatory that was retired at the
end of 1995. Over two decades, astronomers using the observatory found
the rings of Uranus and made many other discoveries.

SOFIA's telescope will see objects more clearly than the earlier
airborne telescope. It will also see objects that are much fainter. It
will study planets and comets inside our own solar system, watch the
birth of new stars, and map the material that lies between the stars.

SOFIA will also carry teachers and students on many of its research
flights.

A consortium of universities, corporations, and other groups will build
and operate SOFIA. The consortium will buy a Boeing 747 jumbo jet to
house the telescope this year. SOFIA should undergo flight tests in
2000, and begin its science missions in 2001.

Tomorrow: a night on the North Atlantic.



Written by Damond Benningfield. Copyright 1997 The University of Texas
McDonald Observatory. Star Date is made possible in part by a grant from
NASA.

This transcript is from 365 Days of Star Date.
Program copyright  1996-1997 Vision X Software, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Visit the Star Date web site at http://stardate.utexas.edu/
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FN:Laura Lou
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NOTE:Personal Web Page: http://www.gatecom.com/~lauralou
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