The Sky at Night takes to the air on board the largest airborne observatory in the world – a specially modified jumbo jet, flying out of California. This extraordinary aircraft is home to a 17-tonne telescope that observes the galaxy from around 40,000 feet.
This telescope – called SOFIA – specialises in infrared astronomy. It can peer into the heart of a galaxy through the dust and gas, and see how stars form. It’s designed to answer some of the biggest questions in astronomy: why aren’t more stars being created and how do planets form?