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← Jumbo Jet Astronomy | Morrison Planetarium

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Showing Revision 7 created 10/12/2017 by Margarida Ferreira.

  1. (Music)
  2. It's a bunch of boredom followed by terror
    that you might not get it.
  3. It was, you know, six hours
    of not much happening,
  4. followed by two minutes
    of everything happening.
  5. So, that's what this is going
    to be like in October.
  6. There's an opportunity here
    where Triton moves in front of a star,
  7. a bright enough star
    that we can have it backlit
  8. and study it that way.
  9. Triton is interesting in of itself,
    but the fact that it's basically
  10. a twin of Pluto makes it more interesting.
  11. Triton is Neptune's largest moon
    and it's rather mysterious
  12. because it's orbiting backwards
    around Neptune,
  13. which no one can figure out
    how that happened unless it was captured.
  14. So it may have been
    a free-floating Pluto, the twins,
  15. and one of them got snagged by Neptune.
  16. The big puzzle is how
    the whole Solar System formed,
  17. and this is one fairly interesting object
    in the Solar System,
  18. just filling in a broad picture
    with one little piece.
  19. Occultation is when something
    apparently larger moves across
  20. and blocks the light
    from something apparently smaller.
  21. Now, actually, the star
    is much bigger than Triton,
  22. but it's so far away
    that the apparent size of the star is tiny.
  23. That event's going to happen
    on October 5th.
  24. SOFIA flies at night,
    we fly where we need to be
  25. in order to have the telescope open portion
    pointed at the right part of the sky
  26. to see the objects that the scientists
    are wanting to look at.
  27. SOFIA is the world's
    largest airborne observatory.
  28. It is a jumbo jet that has
    a very large infrared telescope.
  29. SOFIA stands for Stratospheric Observatory
    for Infrared Astronomy.
  30. In order to gain access to the infrared light,
  31. we have to fly above 99% of the water vapor
    in the Earth's atmosphere.
  32. With SOFIA, what we can do
    is look at the infrared light
  33. and we can identify the molecular
    and chemical component of any object.
  34. We can see where water might be,
    where carbon is,
  35. where different variations of oxygen are,
  36. and where systems that are developing,
  37. whether or not they're similar to us
    just by their chemical signature.
  38. Seeing scientists get excited
    about their findings
  39. and their research is priceless.
  40. I've seen world famous astrophysicists
    like almost in tears
  41. and jumping up and down,
    absolutely priceless.
  42. (Music)