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Making mirrors

Making mirrors

It takes many years to cast a large telescope mirror at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. But the race to build an ever-larger celestial eye leads to discoveries in astronomy.

Learning to manage wildfire

Learning to manage wildfire

Wildland firefighters are highly trained. So are the people who supervise them. One group gathers in Tucson each year to create a simulated fire and learn how to manage crews, evacuations and equipment.

The disappearing night sky

The disappearing night sky

Light pollution has made finding the Big Dipper almost impossible for some, as humanity seeks to illuminate more of the world. What does it mean for people to lose their connection to the night sky? A new documentary explores our need for light and our desire to see the heavens.

An ancient path, a modern aim

An ancient path, a modern aim

The stately, pink building that houses the Benedictine Monastery in Tucson attracts attention. So do the solar panels erected in the parking lot. The nuns of the 75-year-old monastery say going solar has saved them money and electricity. And conservation is in keeping with their sacred mission.

Forecasters keep an eye on the skies

Forecasters keep an eye on the skies

On a busy monsoon afternoon, the National Weather Service’s Tucson office is an electrified place. Forecasters scramble to track storm cells on radar screens, check stream gauges for runoff levels, and issue warnings on possible downstream flooding. They even watch the storms from a second-floor window.

Condors making comeback in Arizona

Condors making comeback in Arizona

The California condor almost went extinct before a re-introduction effort began. They’re thriving again in two states, including Arizona. But advocates warn that lead poisoning continues to threaten the birds of prey.

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