An Exploration of Arizona Astronomy

A five-part radio documentary series examining professional and amateur astronomy in the state.

Stories

The Popular Science of Public Observatories

Astronomy is becoming huge with everyday people. Observatories with public viewing programs are booked months in advance. People want to see what the professionals are seeing. It’s all part of the democratization of astronomy.

A Century of Stargazing

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

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.

Photos

Collecting Light Video Preview

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