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NASA's Airborne Lab: Mapping Polar Ice

presented by Walter E. Klein, NASA

7:00 PM Thursday, February 4, 2021


NASA's DC-8 Airborne Laboratory serves the world's scientific community by collecting data for scientific research pertaining to studies of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Data gathered have been used for scientific studies in archeology, ecology, geography, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, volcanology, atmospheric chemistry, soil science, and biology.

As a navigator for the Airborne Laboratory, Walter Klein travels all over the world on missions as geographically and scientifically diverse as mapping polar ice in Antarctica from 1500 feet altitude, to studying pollution by flying the DC-8 in corkscrew patterns over an Asian mega-city and the California Central Valley.

In addition to his work with the Airborne Laboratory, Klein will discuss SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry a 2.7-meter (106-inch) reflecting telescope (with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters or 100 inches). Flying into the stratosphere at 38,000-45,000 feet puts SOFIA above 99 percent of Earth’s infrared-blocking atmosphere, allowing astronomers to study the solar system and beyond in ways that are not possible with ground-based telescopes. The observatory’s mobility allows researchers to observe from almost anywhere in the world, and enables studies of transient events that often take place over oceans where there are no telescopes.

Klein has a deep commitment to sharing information about NASA's Airborne Science Program missions with students, teachers and the public, and to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and pilots. We are grateful to him for so generously taking the time to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with us.

Hamptons Observatory would also like to thank the co-sponsor of this Zoom event: the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University,

COST: This event is FREE.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This event will be held via Zoom. When you register for tickets using Eventbrite, you will receive an email from Eventbrite that contains the link, meeting ID and password that will be needed to join the meeting.


Hamptons Observatory (or HO, formerly Montauk Observatory), a 501(c)(3) NYS nonprofit that relies on public support has served the South Fork since 2005. Its mission: to foster interest in science, particularly astronomy, through educational programs. We hold lectures, star parties, portable planetarium shows and other events throughout the South Fork, often in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations that host our events at their facilities. HO has established the first astronomical observatory on the South Fork (on the campus of the Ross School in East Hampton), complete with Long Island's largest research-grade telescope; these facilities will soon be accessible over the internet to students, teachers, researchers and the general public. Hamptons Observatory offers all of its programs free-of-charge to make them as accessible as possible to all. For further info go to To be placed on our mailing list for news and event notices email

To make a tax-deductible donation to support our programs, please go to and click on Donations, or use PayPal to send money to Hamptons Observatory. Thanks!

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