The STO2 first light spectrum at 1.9 THz. Credit: Delft University of Technology
The STO2 telescope with Dutch detectors on board that circled around the South Pole in December 2016 to investigate gas clouds between the stars landed safely on 30 December.
At an altitude of 39 kilometers the NASA telescope circled along with the polar vortex for a period of three weeks. During that time STO2 picked up as much radiation as possible at the frequencies of 1.4 and 1.9 THz to find ionized nitrogen (NII) and ionized carbon respectively (CII) in a part of our Milky Way. These substances indicate the process of star formation from dust and gas.