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Images from new telescope used to teach San Diego kids about space

 July 15, 2022 at 3:07 PM PDT

S1: Kids explore the new pictures from space at the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
S2: So bringing the known into the unknown is one of the things that we're trying to do.
S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. Plans begin to take shape to shore up the crumbling Del Mar Bluffs.
S3: A big collapse could happen anywhere along this bluff at any moment in time. That's our problem right now.
S1: And our weekend preview spans the range of arts , music , painting and theater. That's ahead on Midday Edition. In a number of dazzling images this week , we were lifted out of our everyday problems to gaze upon the universe as we've never seen it before. Nasser calls it a celebration for everyone on Earth. Five images from the James Webb Space Telescope took us deep into space and 13 billion years into the past. The images are clear , brilliant and almost incomprehensible in their complexity. But San Diego's Air and Space Museum use the pictures as a teachable moment , opening up the wonders of real galaxies far , far away to San Diego's children. Joining me is San Diego Air and Space Museum education director Becky Gould. Becky , welcome to the program.
S2: Well , thank you for having me. We're so excited about the new telescope.
S1: Well , you know , even amateur space enthusiasts have a difficult time figuring out what these spectacular pictures show.
S2: For instance , some of the light is bending in the deep field one , and you can have explained that it's like going around a barrier when you walk. So bringing the unknown into the unknown is one of the things that we're trying to do.
S1: You know , we've heard that pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope. Show us images from the past.
S2: So what we're seeing is really the light that was emitted 13 million , 13 billion years ago. So it's a very strange concept to me , but when you look at the light , it's on how far it's traveled. So it's both the measure of distance and time.
S1: So one of the pictures seems to show a small , brilliant light scattered across the picture. It's a galactic cluster and it's been called that deep field image that you talked about.
S2: So I have seen it described as holding a piece of sand on the end of your finger at arm's length. That's as much as the picture that we're seeing. It doesn't have anything known in it. If you were looking on earth , it would appear to be Black Sky. And here we are seeing thousands and tens of thousands of galaxies in it. So it is the picture of kind of taking a snapshot of what the sky is. And it's allowing scientists to really look and see just what is out there. And with the five different ways of measuring the night sky and being able to take longer exposures because the telescope is a million miles from Earth. It really gives you a different look at a place that has appeared to be blank for so long.
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S2: So some stars are going to be older and they're going to burn less hot and appear more red. And some stars are going to be newer and they're going to be burning at a very high rate. And those are the blue stars. So we can definitely tell the age of the star , depending on the color that it has. And the galaxies will be the different colors , depending on the age of the stars and the galaxies.
S1: One of the most striking images to me , it almost looks like a mountain range. It's the Carina Nebula. I believe it's pronounced. Is this where stars are born ? Yes.
S2: This is where stars are born. So the cliffs that you're seeing are a swirl of gas and dust and gravity and energy. And you can see the pinpricks of light are the baby stars and they are shining blue because they are doing that. So as they form , they are being moved away from this and that is how they're going to be forming new galaxies. So it's very exciting to take something that we've seen in fuzzy images through Hubble and seeing such a clear images with the James Webb telescope.
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S2: And they are doing images almost every day so teams of scientists can apply to have research time and they can pick a target in the galaxy , and then they can look at this target and have the exposure time and then get the images back from the telescope. So astronomers are making a mad dash for time to have their piece of the universe uncovered for them.
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S2: They were looking at the images and trying to decide why the black hole was actually white. We also had some stop rockets to kind of talk about rockets and how things get to space. And we had some pinwheel galaxies so that we could really explain on how galaxies are formed , how galaxies are shaped and how they move , that they're orbiting just like a pinwheel. And then we also had some pretty massive stickers , which are always a hit.
S1: And you have some space related instruction with children going on today. Is that an ongoing thing at the Space Museum ? Yes.
S2: So for the general public , everybody can come in. We have two space exhibits. One is Galileo and kind of the beginnings of space exploration. And then we have our space gallery. And then here in education , we have all kinds of programs that schools and other people can come and visit and get a lesson on space. Over the spring , we've really been contemplating moon colonization and what it would take to live on the moon , everything from houses to rovers to farming. And that's been really fun to see kids reactions to thinking about the next steps.
S1: Okay then. I've been speaking with San Diego Air and Space Museum education director Becky Gould. Becky , thank you.
S2: Thank you so much for having us.
S1: The Del Mar coastline will change as work begins on a project to shore up the crumbling bluffs. And there's a multi-billion dollar proposal to move the train tracks on top of the bluffs. KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson has details.
S3: To our south is the beginning of two miles of a railroad track that runs right along the very top of this coastal bluff.
S4: Del Mar Councilmember Terry Gastelum is taking in the sweeping view on top of the cliff that has grabbed so many headlines recently.
S3: A big collapse could happen anywhere along this bluff at any moment in time. That's our problem right now.
S4: And that's trouble for train tracks that skirt the coast along the top of the bluff collapsed in 1941 , deposited a freight train on the beach below. Recent bluff collapses present an ongoing threat to one of the nation's busiest rail corridors. The $68 million project calls for pilings to be driven deep into the bluff that would secure the track foundation and soon to be built. Seawalls will keep the ocean at bay , but the cost is bigger than just money.
S3: That Bluff Stabilization Project is going to bury 49,000 square feet of current open sandy beach along Delmarva and high tide. When the tide meets the seawalls , there's no beach left.
S4: Maintaining the rail line is important to a lot of people. The Los Angeles to San Diego track serves some 2 million passengers a year. It is the second busiest urban rail corridor in the nation. The North County Transit District's Chris Orlando says the train tracks helped reduce the region's carbon footprint. Our coastline is the region's most effective reducer of vehicle miles problem , so really effective way to keep folks off the road. Orlando says the freight train also keeps 24,000 trucks off local highways. That's why another plan moving the tracks inland is so appealing. But there are challenges there , too. Moving the tracks requires a tunnel under Del Mar , a project with a price tag close to $3 billion. Is it a cost worth paying ? And the answer is absolutely yes. San Diego Association of Governments CEO Hassan Corrado says preserving the rail corridor through Del Mar helps meet his agency's commitment to mass transit. It is all about making our transit as a viable option for people to use doesn't mean that we want to force people out of their car. It doesn't mean that everybody is going to live there. But if you provide a decent option , maybe 10% of our residents will use it and therefore will free capacity in the highway system. $300 million in the just signed state budget will help pay for crucial environmental work and design plans to move the tracks inland. It grew out of hopes that leads to a shovel ready project in just a couple of years. But $300 million falls far short of what could be a $3 billion price tag. Congressman Mike Levin says the recently passed bipartisan federal infrastructure law was designed for projects like this. There are a couple of big buckets of money , one for resilience and another for transit. Levin says the eroding bluffs have already forced the rail corridor to shut down intermittently , and the region feels the impact. Every month you shut it down is roughly $100 million economic impact to our greater region because of , again , the economic importance each year of that corridor. Terry Gastelum hopes the pressure and opportunity will make the track relocation project a reality for Del Mar. She says Everyone wins.
S3: We get double tracking on a corridor that's poised to grow. We get safe freight and passenger conveyance along tracks that are not on a crumbling bluff anymore. So we get security and we get solidity.
S4: The tracks could be gone by 2030 if everything goes as planned , but if there are hiccups in the schedule drags out , there will be extra time because the temporary fixes will secure the bluffs for 30 years. Eric Anderson , KPBS News.
S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH. On this weekend preview , art in nine parks across the region , jazz and folk music. What's new at the Timken and a theater production during Pride ? Joining me with all the details is KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. And Julia , welcome.
S5: Hi , Maureen. Thanks for having me.
S1: Let's start with pride and the teen visionary production of Strings That Bind.
S5: Yeah , this is one of the things I look for every year at Pride. It's Diversionary Theatre's teen program and their summer production. It's an intensive three week rehearsal program , and the summer project winds up with pride every year. Last year , they performed outdoors. It was a scaled back mini pride weekend , but this year they're back on the actual stage at the Diversionary , which has been newly remodeled. So for the show , the Teen Visionary Team is nine LGBTQ or Allied Youth and director Wilfred Paloma. The play is about being seen as puppets of the system and how to navigate that. It will incorporate puppet style movements , poetry , music , spoken word art and dance. There are two shows during Pride Weekend 3 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on the Saturday at Diversionary and University Heights. It's free , but reservations are required so that you can get your seats in the theater.
S1: And now for something a bit more spread out across the city. In the past , you've told us about Parks Social , the city's new public art project. But this weekend there's a special event. Tell us about parks , social exploration de Vie.
S5: So Parks Social launched in May , runs through November with 18 art installations gradually rolling out in city parks , whether in the form of sculptures , interactive activations or workshops , performances , other sort of community events. The idea was that you could gradually explore parks on your own time and discover art. But this Saturday they're making a day of it , and nine of the projects will all be on view with events and performances , most of them in their finished form. I do have one highlight , but you should check out a map of the projects and try to hit up the ones near your neighborhood or maybe ones in parts of the city you haven't really discovered yet. Margaret Noble's locked groove is really cool. It's a sound based installation at Alamosa Park in Point Loma with designs that are stenciled with chalk spray paint around the perimeter of the park in bright colors , geometric patterns. And she's created a sound mixer. You can dial it up on your device and play with the levels yourself as you walk. It has four distinct loops of sound recordings made from the four everyday rhythms that she identified and that she's trying to capture in this work. Those are domestic , natural , industrial and social and parks. Social has maps for all of the projects. They're also doing a kind of passport for the day. So if you visit several of the parks , you can get that stamped.
S1: You can find links for that on our Web site , KPBS , dawg. Now , sticking with visual art for a little longer , the Timken Museum recently reopened in Balboa Park after some renovations.
S5: That was just in June and it was closed for the entire pandemic. And with their reopening , one of the things they relaunched is the summer artist residency. Marinella Della Herz is this year's resident and her exhibition Destiny Does or and Woven is focused on the character of Penelope from Homer's Odyssey , who Penelope famously fended off 100 suitors while her husband was off doing his thing in the Trojan War. And their resulting exhibition just opened this week , and it's lots of her character driven paintings. One of the things that Della has was particularly inspired by for this exhibition was how Penelope spent years weaving and then unraveling a burial shroud for her father. And her exhibition really adds so much dimension to this character of Penelope. And the works will be on view through the summer , through September 4th. And the Timken is open and free to the public from 10 to 5 on Wednesday through Sunday.
S1: And now some music. Jazz singer Leonard Patton and folk singer songwriter Gregory Paige are performing together on stage this weekend in an unconventional pairing.
S5: Page is a longtime folk rocker and guitarist , and Leonard Peyton is an incredibly versatile jazz singer. This is his recent recording of Somebody Come and Play from his LP 50 Recording Project.
S4: Somebody come and played today. Somebody come and be my friend. Now watch this until it rains again. Somebody come.
UU: And play. Today.
S5: They're doing performances at the Jazz Lounge , which is a venue opened by Leonard Peyton during the pandemic. They livestream their concerts , and then if you do have tickets , it's a really nice , intimate setting inside. There's two performances Friday and Saturday at 630 , and they'll be together on stage and finding kind of the musical spaces where their different styles come together. The concert is called LPI and Collide.
S1: And Remember because of the level of COVID cases now in San Diego. CDC guidelines recommend masking in indoor venues. You can find details on these and more arts events or sign up for Julia's weekly arts newsletter at KPBS Dawgs Arts. I've been speaking with KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. Thank you , Julia.
S5: Thank you , Maureen. Have a good weekend.

New images from the James Webb Space Telescope took us deep into space and 13 billion years into the past. San Diego’s Air and Space Museum used the photos to open up the wonders of galaxies to San Diego’s children. Then, the Del Mar coastline will change as work begins on a project to shore up the crumbling bluffs. And there's a multi-billion-dollar proposal to move the train tracks on top of the bluffs. Finally, this weekend in the arts: art in nine parks across the region, jazz and folk music, what's new at the Timken and a theater production during Pride.