October 21, 2021

Episode 805

Making of the James Webb Telescope, Herbarium, Carlos, All Souls Procession
More like this story
2021 Carlos
2021 Herbarium
Making of the James Webb Space Telescope
In December, NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope into a deep orbit with the Sun, nearly a million miles from the Earth. It will be the most ambitious telescope ever made, and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. With a mirror three times larger than Hubble, it will be capable of resolving images crisper and deeper into the cosmos than before - possibly even catching a glimpse of the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang. World-renowned husband-and-wife research team Marcia and George Rieke at the University of Arizona, who spent nearly two decades working on the telescope’s instruments, discuss the mission and its impact.

A herbarium is a collection of preserved plant specimens, some hundreds of years old, used for scientific study. We go inside the herbarium at the University of Arizona, founded in 1891, and look at the collection of nearly half a million dried plant specimens.

For Carlos Valenzuela art is a family tradition and a lifelong obsession. At a young age, he learned from his mother that “if you could make something with your hand and endow it with enough love that you could feed your children,” and that’s what he’s been doing most of his life. The community educator and glass and tile artist had helped facilitate the creation of hundreds of mosaic tile murals across Southern Arizona with local youth. These murals, which are nearly ubiquitous in South Tucson and New Pascua, reflect community heritage, cultural values, and history so deeply that they have become symbols of the community in and of themselves.

All Souls Procession (Encore)
The All Souls Procession has been a Tucson tradition since 1990. Inspired by the creativity of Mexico’s Dia de Los Muertos holiday, the local procession started as a small intimate gathering and has blossomed into an event with more than 150,000 participants. After the in-person procession was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the tradition returns in November 2021. We look back at the procession with an excerpt from our 2017 story that highlights the meaning, history, and artistic expressions.
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