We invite you to join us to explore natural and astronomical wonders of this desert paradise on our Arizona Skies & New Discoveries Adventure.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / art by Corby Waste
This artist's rendition of the Phoenix Lander shows the firing thrusters just before the lander touches down on the martian surface.
We’ll gather in Tucson, Arizona, to begin our exploration. At the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is surrounded by Saguaro National Park, there is a fascinating exhibit on the origin of life on earth. You will also have an opportunity to see spectacular desert plants and wildlife, including the iconic desert bird, the roadrunner!
We’ll have the extraordinary opportunity to visit the Caris Telescope Mirror Lab on the University of Arizona campus where the largest world class mirror lens are fabricated and polished.
On the north edge of the Santa Catalina Mountains, we will visit Biosphere 2 where scientists spent two years living under conditions similar to a space station or orbiting satellite. See the living and work spaces and the areas used for food production. Much of the facilities are now an ecological research living laboratory supervised by the University of Arizona.
Our adventure will continue to Kitt Peak which has a large collection of optical telescopes. We’ll learn about their amazing research on the sun and then return to Tucson via the 300-year-old Mission San Javier del Bac, which beautifully represents the Spanish heritage of Tucson.
We will have a special lecture by the scientist who was in charge of the Phoenix Mars Lander (that completed its mission in 2008) which found water ice at the north Martian pole and compounds that have the ability to support life.
From Tucson, our adventure will next take us north to Sedona, where we will see the red rock formations.
Near Flagstaff, we will visit the famous Meteor Crater. Walk to the edge and imagine the crater-pocked surface of the Moon, Mars, and other planets. Then enjoy an evening visit to Lowell Observatory where dark skies make the Milky Way a wonder to see!
We invite you to explore the extraordinary wonders in Arizona this year and hope you will join us!