2022年7月29日

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SOFIA’s Southern Lights
Image Credit & Copyright:
Ian Griffin (Otago Museum)

Explanation: SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry a large reflecting telescope into the stratosphere. The ability of the airborne facility to climb above about 99 percent of Earth’s infrared-blocking atmosphere has allowed researchers to observe from almost anywhere over the planet. On a science mission flying deep into the southern auroral oval, astronomer Ian Griffin, director of New Zealand’s Otago Museum, captured this view from the observatory’s south facing starboard side on July 17. Bright star Canopus shines in the southern night above curtains of aurora australis, or southern lights. The plane was flying far south of New Zealand at the time at roughly 62 degrees southern latitude. Unfortunately, after a landing at Christchurch severe weather damaged SOFIA requiring repairs and the cancellation of the remainder of its final southern hemisphere deployment.

Tomorrow’s picture: an eagle rises


索菲亚天文台的南极光
影像提供与版权:
Ian Griffin (Otago Museum)

说明: 索菲亚平流层红外红天文台(SOFIA)是一架经过改装的波音747SP飞机,配备了可在平流层进行观测的反射式大望远镜。这个机载的观测平台,可以飞在大部分(99%)会阻挡红外光的地球大气之上,并让天文学家几乎可以在地球任何地区进行观测。7月17日在深入南极光椭圆的科学任务中,新西兰奥塔哥博物馆长、天文学家伊恩·格里芬,从天文台的南向右舷拍下了这幅影像。在其中,南半球夜空中的明亮老人星,在南极光的帷幕上方绽放光芒。在当时,这架飞机飞在南纬大约62度之处。遗憾的是,索菲亚于恶劣天气中降落在基督城之时,发生损坏需要维修,不得不取消南半球任务的其余航次。

明日的图片: an eagle rises

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