Tracking NASA and DLR's SOFIA

SOFIA (N747NA) tracked via 

SOFIA, a modified Boeing 747SP with a giant telescope, often known as the "Flying Telescope," is tracked weekly by on its observations flights over North America from Palmdale. This blog post will explain how to track SOFIA using!

SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy)

SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry a 2.7-meter (106-inch) reflecting telescope (with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters or 100 inches). Flying into the stratosphere at 38,000-45,000 feet puts SOFIA above 99 percent of Earth’s infrared-blocking atmosphere, allowing astronomers to study the solar system and beyond in ways that are not possible with ground-based telescopes. SOFIA is made possible through a partnership between NASA and the German Space Agency at DLR.

NASA Boeing 747SP (N747NA) - 

NASA photo / Jim Ross, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Carla Thomas/NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

SOFIA and the Infrared Universe

SOFIA is designed to observe the infrared universe. Many objects in space emit almost all their energy at infrared wavelengths and are often invisible when observed with visible light. In other cases, celestial clouds of gas and dust block the light emitted by more distant objects, but infrared energy pierces through these clouds. The only way to learn about these objects is to study the infrared light they emit.

Dylan O’Donnell; Right: NASA/SOFIA/J. Bally et. al

Tracking SOFIA, the flying telescope, on

Type the aircraft's registration "N747NA" to track it on the RadarBox apps and website. Or track SOFIA by clicking here.

Tutorial on how to track SOFIA (N747NA) on

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