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SOFIA stratospheric aircraft with the mission participant of the Kepler Society and the Johannes Kepler observatory. On February 7, 2017, Hildrun Bäzner-Zehender started together with 38 other participants on a mission to the Sofia observatory. She is a board member of the Kepler Society, an astronomer at the Johannes Kepler Observatory in Weil der Stadt and also looks after the youth groups there.

The objective of the mission is the mapping of objects with emissions in the infrared, specifically these were in Orion, Cassiopeia and the Whirlpool galaxy M51.

Palmdale, February 7, 2017, 4:40 p.m. The time has come. The doors of the Boeing 747SP are closed. Everything is ready to go. Count me in. I can hardly believe it. But SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is taking off with me and 38 other passengers. We four teachers and Ms. Lischke-Weis from DSI (German SOFIA Institute) among them. We were greeted warmly at the mission briefing and briefed on everything to do with the flight the day before. Objects of interest are on the watch list. The great molecular cloud in Orion, the Whirlpool galaxy, IC59 and 63 in Cassiopeia and S235. What's going on in these gas clouds? How fast are the particles moving there? The first two objects mentioned are given a lot of observation time. Isn't it about a large-scale mapping? It is exciting to see how the observation operation works. Neither of us closed our eyes during the flight. Not even on the second flight the next day. There was more time here to inform us about the scientific background. I am very excited to see what these measurements will provide.

Hildrun Bäzner-Zehender - Johannes Kepler Observatory

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