Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe

Barbara Klett

Dr.-Ing. Thomas Keilig

Deputy SMO Director (Kalifornien)
Dr. rer. nat Bernhard Schulz

Standortleiter AFRC & SOFIA Teleskop Manager
Dipl.-Ing. Michael Hütwohl

Standortleiter ARC & und Facility Scientist
Dr. rer. nat. Jürgen Wolf

Technology Advisor
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Wagner

Bildungs- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Dr. rer. nat. Dörte Mehlert

Deutsches SOFIA Institut
Pfaffenwaldring 29
70569 Stuttgart

Tel. +49 (0)711/685-62379
Fax +49 (0)711/685-63596


Deutsches SOFIA Institut



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SOFIA on its journey through the solar system

June 27, 2018

Minor Planet Center names asteroid after the flying observatory

SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, has received a very special honor: As of April 30th, 2018, the asteroid number 239672 bears the name of the flying observatory – as announced by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The designation came from the initiative of Felix Hormuth, who discovered the asteroid during the night of December 21st, 2008 using the 1.23 m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory. A time series of exposures revealed the object’s continuously changing position. Once the discovery had been confirmed, the MPC labeled the minor planet with the temporary designation "2008 YS1".

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Successful hunt for Triton's shadow

October 25, 2017

University of Stuttgart coordinates European ground-based observation campaign and SOFIA observes "Central Flash"

During the night of October 5th, a very rare celestial event took place: Triton, the largest moon of the planet Neptune with a diameter of ~ 2700 km, passed in front of a bright star (UCAC4 410-143659, V = 12.7 mag) – analogous to a solar eclipse. Depending on the location of the observer, this so-called occultation lasted no longer than three minutes. For a brief moment, the light of the star illuminated the atmosphere of the Neptunian moon from behind. That gave astronomers the opportunity to study the thin Triton atmosphere in detail - assuming their telescopes were positioned in the shadow that Triton projected on the Earth during this event.

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University Telescope ATUS Gets a Glimpse of Flying Laptop

August 22, 2017

Flying Laptop was observed with ATUS on July 28th and August 1st

Flying Laptop (FLP), the University of Stuttgart's first small satellite, has been orbiting the Earth at a height of 600 km since mid-July 2017. At a speed of about 28000 km/h, each orbit takes only 96 minutes. On Earth, in California's Sierra Nevada, the remote controlled Astronomical Telescope of the University of Stuttgart (ATUS) moves beneath the sky approximately 26000 km/h more slowly. Occasionally, these two exceptional education platforms of the University of Stuttgart cross paths. Recently, Karsten Schindler of the German SOFIA Institute (DSI) took the opportunity to observe Flying Laptop with ATUS: twice on July 28th for 30 seconds each with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) and once more on August 1st for 15 seconds with the Fine Field Imager (FFI).

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DSI Team mit NASA Group Achievement Award ausgezeichnet

July 18, 2017

Die NASA hat das siebenköpfige DSI Team um Jürgen Wolf, das im SOFIA Science Center des NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) arbeitet, für seinen außerordentlichen Beitrag zur Leistungssteigerung des SOFIA Observatoriums ausgezeichnet. Am 27. Juni haben Sebastian Colditz, Friederike Graf, Michael Lachenmann, Enrico Pfüller, Karsten Schindler, Manuel Wiedemann und Jürgen Wolf den NASA Group Achievement Award für die Entwicklung und Integration des neuen Focal Plane Imagers Plus (FPI+), der wichtigsten Nachführkamera von SOFIA, überreicht bekommen.

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