Kuiper Airborne Observatory's
Career Science Highlights.
KAO astronomers probed the atmospheres of distant
planets, discovering water in Jupiter's and Saturn's thick atmospheres.
Scientists also found that Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn have intrinsic
energy sources like very small-scale stars.
The KAO was used to study the origin and distribution
of water and organic molecules, materials essential for like to exist,
in regions of star formation, and in the vast spaces between the stars.
Kuiper astronomers also studied the disks surrounding certain stars that
may be related to the formation of planetary systems around theses stars.
Peering still deeper into space, KAO astronomers
studied powerful far-infrared emissions from the center of our galaxy
and other galaxies. Scientists onboard the KAO tracked the formation of
heavy elements like iron, nickel, and cobalt from the massive fusion reactions
of Supernova 1987A.