Picture of the Day: Looking Through SOFIA's 100-Inch Mirror


Look closely. Reflected in the SOFIA observatory telescope's 100-inch primary mirror seen here is the NASA logo that is painted on the outside of building 703 at the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, California.

"SOFIA -- the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy -- is an airborne observatory built to complement the Hubble, Spitzer and Herschel space telescopes, as well as major Earth-based telescopes," NASA explained. "SOFIA features a German-built 100-inch diameter far-infrared telescope weighing 20 tons mounted in the rear fuselage of a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft. It is one of the premier space science programs of NASA's Science Mission Directorate."

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Image: NASA.