In July 2013, for the first time, NASA’s airborne observatory SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, was deployed to the southern hemisphere. Scientists made observations of celestial objects in the southern sky, flying from the U.S. scientific missions base in Christchurch, New Zealand. Scientific targets during SOFIA’s southern deployment included the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, as well as objects in the central regions of the Milky Way Galaxy. The two Magellanic Clouds, dwarf galaxies relatively near our galaxy, are easily visible with the naked eye in the southern sky. The clouds are named after explorer Ferdinand Magellan, one of the first Europeans to report seeing them. Other targets include objects in or near the Milky Way’s center, which is much more easily observed from the southern hemisphere than from the north. On the patch, the "O" in SOFIA marks the southern deployment base at Christchurch and the Southern Cross Constellation, visible only from the southern hemisphere, is shown to the left.