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SOFIA Images

Scientific Observation Images
Look here for SOFIA's latest scientific images. You'll find captions and photo credits, and both labeled and unlabeled images in a couple of different resolutions. If you have any questions, please contact us.

SOFIA Observatory Images
Photos of the SOFIA airborne observatory in flight as well as instrument and christening photos are located here.

SOFIA and the Infrared Universe Gallery
SOFIA and the Infrared Universe is a collection of visually striking and scientifically impactful images of SOFIA science, some from actual data and some artist's impressions by Bay Area artist Lynette Cook. The gallery is located at NASA Ames Research Center, Building 232.  

SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (2011-2015)
Archive of Airborne Astronomy Ambassador images

SOFIA Shareables
Infographics about SOFIA

NASA SOFIA Mission Pages and multimedia gallery

SOFIA Mobile Information
Mobile-friendly information about the observatory

Historic SOFIA wind tunnel testing photos
— search SOFIA and narrow by year 1994

Image use policy


SOFIA 3D Overview Animation without text (242 MB)
SOFIA 3D Overview Animation with text (263 MB)

SOFIA 3D Telescope Animation without text (141 MB)
SOFIA 3D Telescope Animation with text (138 MB)

SOFIA b-roll web preview (61.5 MB)
SOFIA b-roll for media distribution with 1920x1080 resolution and encoded with the ProRes codec (2.6 GB)

SOFIA Twilight air-to-air, door opening

SOFIA New Zealand 2013 Deployment video

SOFIA Takeoff (2.79 GB)

SOFIA Landing (947 MB)

SOFIA Landing Cockpit Time Lapse (89 MB)

SOFIA Optical Path

Fact Sheets/Brochures

SOFIA General Information
Document Name Thumbnail Image Download Link File Size
SOFIA general fact sheet SOFIA general fact sheet Download Link 1.2 MB
SOFIA Mission sheet SOFIA mission sheet Download Link 1.9 MB
SOFIA Studies SOFIA studies English
813 KB
Fun Facts for Reporters
Fun Facts for Reporters
Download Link 89 KB
Infrared Astronomy: More Than Our Eyes Can See
Infrared Astronomy: More Than Our Eyes Can See
1.7 MB
Aircraft and Telescope Fact Sheet
Aircraft and Telescope fact sheet
Download Link 1.5 MB
AFRC Bldg. 703 Hangar Fact Sheet
AFRC Bldg. 703 Hangar Fact Sheet
Download Link 343 KB
SOFIA self-guided tour
SOFIA self-guided tour
2.9 MB
Magnetic Field May Be Keeping Milky Way’s Black Hole Quiet Galactic Center litho Download Link 1.7 MB
The Universe's First Type of Molecule Is Found at Last Helium Hydride litho Download Link 1.2 MB
SOFIA Studies Stellar Wind Feedback in Orion Orion Bubble litho Download Link 733 KB
SOFIA Probes Magnetic Fields in the Orion Molecular Cloud Orion Magnetic litho Download Link 1.6 MB
SOFIA Observations Provide Clues to Evolution of Galaxies M82 litho Download Link 579 KB
SOFIA Finds Dust Survives Obliteration in Supernova 1987A Supernova litho Download Link 1.2 MB
Signs of Recent Starbursts in the Milky Way Galaxy’s Center
Signs of Recent Starbursts in the Milky Way Galaxy’s Center
2.3 MB
Orion's M42 Region
Orion's M42 region
Download Link 768 KB

SOFIA Science Fact Sheets
Document Name Thumbnail Image Download Link File Size
SOFIA Technical flyer
SOFIA technical flyer
Download Link 713 KB
EXES instrument fact sheet EXES fact sheet Download Link 1.1 MB
FIFI-LS instrument fact sheet FIFI-LS fact sheet Download Link 220 KB
FLITECAM instrument fact sheet (Retired 2018) FLITECAM fact sheet Download Link 891 KB
FORCAST instrument fact sheet FORCAST fact sheet Download Link 1.2 MB
FPI+ instrument fact sheet GREAT fact sheet Download Link 137 KB
GREAT instrument fact sheet GREAT fact sheet Download Link 1.2 MB
HAWC+ instrument fact sheet HAWC plus fact sheet Download Link 197 KB
HIPO instrument fact sheet (Retired 2018) HIPO fact sheet Download Link 1.3 MB
SOFIA science: M17 fact sheet SOFIA M17 fact sheet Download Link 1.6 MB
SOFIA science: M42 fact sheet SOFIA M42 fact sheet Download Link 1.4 MB
SOFIA science: Circumnuclear Ring fact sheet SOFIA CNR fact sheet Download Link 1.7 MB
EXES Technical Fact Sheet EXES flyer Download Link 528 KB
FIFI-LS Technical Fact Sheet FIFI-LS instrument flyer Download Link 718 KB
FLITECAM Technical Fact Sheet (Retired 2018) FLITECAM instrument flyer Download Link 442 KB
FORCAST Technical Fact Sheet FORCAST instrument flyer Download Link 448 KB
FPI+ Technical Fact Sheet FPI plus instrument flyer Download Link 470 KB
GREAT Technical Fact Sheet GREAT instrument flyer Download Link 431 KB
HAWC+ Technical Fact Sheet HAWC plus instrument flyer Download Link 696 KB
Spectral Resolution vs Wavelength
Spectral resolution chart
Download Link 264 KB
New Zealand Science Summaries

New Zealand Science Summaries screenshot
Download Link N/A
SOFIA Quick Guide: Instrument Capabilities and Science Cases

SOFIA Quick Guide
Download Link 4 MB

SOFIA History Articles

SOFIA 3D printed model

Print Your Own 3D SOFIA Model

Now you can print your own 3D model of SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. With the help of the staff of the NASA Ames SpaceShop Rapid Prototyping Facility, the SOFIA mission team created an eight-piece, 3D-printable model of the modified 747SP aircraft, its telescope and cabin.

The printable files are at a 1/200 scale, with a removable upper fuselage section to reveal interior details, including the flying mission control center in the cabin, interchangeable science instruments and both open- and closed-telescope door configurations. The model has been simplified for durability and printing where needed.

Details, printing instructions and files are available:​​

SOFIA Program Staff Biographies

SOFIA Operations
Daniel M. Bufton -- Program Manager (NASA)
George Sarver-- Deputy Program Manager (NASA)
David McAllister -- Deputy Program Manager for Operations (NASA)
Michael Toberman -- Operations Director (NASA)

SOFIA Science Operations
Naseem Rangwala -- Project Scientist (Acting) (SOFIA/ARC-SSA)
Tom Roellig -- Deputy Project Scientist (NASA)
Ed Harmon -- Mission Manager (NASA)

Harold Yorke -- Director of SOFIA Science Mission Operations (USRA)
Bernhard Schulz --Deputy Director of SOFIA Science Mission Operations (Deutsches SOFIA Institut)
Erick Young -- Senior Science Advisor (USRA)
William Reach - Associate Director for Science Operations (USRA)
Nancy McKown -- Senior Operations Advisor (USRA)

Eric Becklin -- Chief Science Advisor (USRA)
James Jackson -- Associate Director for Research (USRA)
Jürgen Wolf -- Senior Research Scientist (DSI)

Media Contacts

SOFIA Science Center
NASA Ames Research Center
Kassandra Bell
Senior Communications Specialist 
kassandra.bell {at}
Mail to:
NASA Ames Research Center, MS 232-12
Moffett Field, CA 94035-0001

Armstrong Flight Research Center
Jessica Arreola
Public Affairs Specialist
jesica.arreola {at}
Mail to:
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273, MS 4839
Edwards, CA 93523-0273

Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) at Universität Stuttgart
Dr. Dörte Mehlert
German SOFIA E/PO lead
mehlert {at}
Mail to:
Deutsches SOFIA Institut
Universität Stuttgart
Institut für Raumfahrtsyteme
Pfaffenwaldring 31
70569 Stuttgart

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