Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Spaced-out Tucson International Airport giving visitors an eyeful

Citizen Staff Writer



People jetting out of Tucson are getting views of far more distant destinations.

Tucson International Airport is featuring “From Earth to the Universe,” a traveling show of 50 large-format images from the reaches of space.

Alice Hesselrode said she enjoyed the exhibit Thursday morning while waiting for her flight to Ontario, Canada.

“It attracted me because it is beautiful, all these patterns,” Hesselrode said as she viewed an image of Cat’s Eye Nebula. “It’s almost like looking through a kaleidoscope.”

The exhibit, which is along the airport’s ticketing area, will run through March 25, said Paula Winn of the Tucson Airport Authority.

“We’re the first venue for this show, which will travel around the country,” Winn said. “The images are really stunning.”

“The effort is to bring astronomy images to unusual venues around the world and surprise people,” said Doug Isbell, a Tucsonan and the U.S. national contact for International Year of Astronomy 2009.

“It’s a good place for it. You get a lot of people coming and going,” said Frank Gastelum, who works at the airport.

“It’s amazing,” Gastelum said while looking at an image of the Butterfly Nebula. “How far does space go out? Does it go on forever? It’s mind boggling.”

Several of the images have local connections, Isbell said, including infrared images of M82 galaxy, an image of the Eagle Nebula taken at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and a shot of Jupiter taken using instruments built by Tucson-based National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

The project also encourages groups or individuals to print copies of high-resolution images from www.fromearthtotheuniverse.org for display at schools, libraries and other facilities, Isbell said.

An effort to put high-quality, low-cost telescopes in front of the eyes of the public is also being led from Tucson, Isbell said.

The Galileo telescope, a refractor scope with a hard plastic body, will offer viewers five to 10 times better viewing quality over entry-level cardboard tube scopes now commonly available, he said.

The Galileo scopes will be 25 power, with a doubling lens to increase the instrument to 50 power, Isbell said.

“You can get a better view of objects than Galileo did,” he said. “It’s designed to be an urban telescope, a user-friendly telescope. It has a field of view of 1.5 degrees, three full moons across.”

The scopes, priced at $15 each with a quantity discount offered, may be ordered at www.galileoscope.org.

Stephen Pompea, manager of science education at NOAO, leads the Galileo scope project, Isbell said.

The image display and the telescopes are part of International Year of Astronomy 2009, which commemorates the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s use of a telescope to study the skies and Johannes Kepler’s publication of “Astronomia nova,” which covered his investigation of Mars.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service