Re-enacting the Civil War in the Southwest

The Battle of Picacho Pass on April 15, 1862, was the westernmost engagement of the Civil War. Some say it was just a “skirmish,” but each year, it’s brought back to life by a dedicated group of re-enactors.

A Kartchner Caverns tour with Gary Tenan

Most people see Kartchner Caverns as part of a tour guided by a volunteer docent. The experience is a little different for the man who discovered the cave.

Smuggling tunnels proliferate under Nogales

The DeConcini Port Of Entry at Nogales, Ariz. is a busy place. But only part of the activity happens above ground.

Author Byrd Baylor celebrates the desert

Author Byrd Baylor still writes by candlelight in her rural desert home. It’s just enough light, she says, to see the ink on the page.

Scientists driving bark beetles crazy with their own sounds

Forestry scientists at Northern Arizona University have figured out how to anger a bark beetle. By making them listen to themselves. It could be a new way to control one of the West’s worst pests.

Collecting Light

An Exploration of Arizona Astronomy

The age of the giant telescope

Every few years, a new telescope is proclaimed to be the world‘s largest. The race is on to build instruments that see farther into the heavens and explain more of the unknown universe.

Dark skies, bright future

Arizona became an astronomy hub a century ago because of its clear, dark skies. Settlements were small, remote mountaintops plentiful, and clouds rare. Even today, the state gets up to nine months a year of near-perfect conditions for night sky observations.

Tomorrow, we see farther

Astronomers admit that our map of the known universe has many blank spots. There are vast areas of space that are still a mystery. That’s about to change.

The popular science of public observatories

Astronomy is becoming a huge hobby for everyday people. Public viewing programs at observatories are booked months in advance. People want to see what the professional stargazers are seeing. It’s part of the ongoing democratization of astronomy.

A century of stargazing

How did Arizona get to be America’s epicenter of astronomy? Part of it was pure luck. But Arizona’s notoriously clear and dark skies also played a role.

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Collecting Light: Arizona Astronomy

Arizona’s Five Cs: A Century Later

Copper at the Crossroads

Campfire Stories

Southwest Sampler

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