Space Science for Families: Searching with NASA's SOFIA

Public talks


Tags: SOFIA, Astronomy

Time: Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 -

Location: Online

Space Science for Families is a collaboration between the SETI Institute and Chabot Space & Science Center, Space Science for Families are monthly talks with SETI Institute scientists that explore the Universe.

Did you know there's a telescope flying through the sky? Get to know SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, which recently helped scientists find water on the Moon.

SOFIA is a specially-modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that carries a very powerful 106-inch reflecting telescope. Soaring above 40,000 feet allows astronomers to study the Universe in ways that are not possible from the ground.

What have scientists discovered from SOFIA's views beyond Earth's atmosphere? Learn more about this unique telescope and its role in research from NASA and the SETI Institute's Dr. Dana Backman.

About Dr. Dana Backman
Principal Investigator of NASA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program. B.Sc. in physics from MIT, Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Hawai'i. Infrared astronomy post-doctoral researcher at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona and at NASA's Ames Research Center. Professor of physics and astronomy for 12 years at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Employed by the SETI Institute as director of education and public outreach for NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) at NASA-Ames from 2003 to 2016. Has taught courses on introductory astronomy at Santa Clara University and on global climate change in Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program. Co-author with Michael Seeds of three college introductory astronomy textbooks: "Horizons", “Foundations”, and “ASTRO”.

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