Two Reno locals take a ride with NASA on a flying telescope
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Two Reno locals are currently at the edge of the atmosphere--around 40,000 to 50,000 feet--in a flying telescope that's part of a NASA program.
UNR Planetarim's Associate Director Dan Ruby and his teammate Matt Oates, who teaches at the Dilworth STEM Academy, were accepted into a NASA program that lets them spend 2 days on a flying observatory.
Ruby says the flying observatory is called SOFIA.
"SOFIA is the newest flying telecsope that NASA's got, and it's a giant plane, a 747 with a giant telescope that's bigger than the Hubble telescope. It looks at the infrared spectrum."
They left yesterday and will be there the rest of today. The flying observatory allows them to see inrfared light and study the formation of stars and planets. Ruby says they'll be trying to look at the black hole that's at the center of the galaxy.
The flights can be tracked in real-time on http://flightaware.com, on the left side of the pagefind "private flights" and enter the SOFIA tail number, NASA747, into the box.
For more about SOFIA education and public outreach visit http://www.sofia.usra.edu/Edu/edu.html.