Building on the success of the 2015/17 Ringberg meetings on spectroscopy with SOFIA at which about 70 participants discussed SOFIA results ranging from nearby star formation to the interstellar medium in nearby galaxies, SOFIA2019 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: 4GREAT and upGREAT cover with high spectral resolution selected FIR-windows between 0.5 and 4.7 THz (63–600 µm), which includes important ground state transitions from hydrides and the major interstellar medium cooling lines from [CII] and [OI], the latter even with arrays of 14 and 7 pixels, respectively. 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 continuously with resolution of 10000-100000.
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 workshop will include a session "SOFIA/APEX technological and scientific synergies" to honor the contributions of Rolf Güsten to both projects on the occasion of his retirement.
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.