Continuing on the success of the 2015 Ringberg meeting on spectroscopy with SOFIA at which about 70 participants discussed SOFIA results ranging from nearby star formation to the interstellar medium in nearby galaxies, SOFIA2017 aims at presenting new science results and looking into future science opportunities for the next years enabled by new instrumentation.
Several instruments on SOFIA allow unique spectroscopic studies of the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium: GREAT covers with high spectral resolution selected FIR-windows between 1.2 and 4.7 THz (63–250 µm), which includes the major cooling lines from [CII] and [OI] of the interstellar medium, the latter even with arrays of 14 and 7 pixels, respectively. An extension to cover the 500-600 GHz frequency range is currently being built. In larger fields, these lines can be probed with the FIFI-LS integral field spectrometer (50-200 µm) at lower spectral resolution, while EXES covers even shorter wavelengths (from 4.5 to 28.3 µm), again with high spectral resolution, including the important H2 rotational transitions. The forthcoming third generation instrument HIRMES will cover 25-120 µm continously with resolution of 10000-100000. Finally, FORCAST and FLITECAM allow low-resolution grism spectroscopy, including PAHs.
Given the rapid progress in instrument development, resulting in continuous upgrades and extensions of the existing detectors, as well as new science projects, it is timely to discuss new results from SOFIA and to look into science opportunities for the coming years, particularly in the area of FIR spectroscopy.
The conference venue, Ringberg Castle, will provide a unique setting for in-depth discussions on current and future unique science with SOFIA. In particular, sessions on new scientific results, on synergies with other observatories, and on new instruments enabling new science are envisioned. Even if you have no SOFIA-related results yourself, we invite you to attend so you can see and find out for yourself what SOFIA can do for you. We specifically encourage the attendance of graduate and PhD students, and will reserve a number of slots for them.