The University of Arizona celebrated a 100-year milestone for its contributions to astronomy Saturday afternoon.

The universitys dedication to space science over the past century has resulted in an economic impact that rivals the Super Bowl.

“We have an economic impact on the state of Arizona of $560 million a year,” said Buell Jannuzi, the head of astronomy at the university.

To put that into perspective, this years Super Bowl in Glendale generated around $600 million for the state.

“In the last 100 years, not only has the department grown, [but] we now have over 300 people, we have over 340 undergraduate majors, and lots and lots of great people doing research,” he said.

Saturdays celebration of space science further highlighted how much the program has grown since its inception.

That $560 million impact also results in more than 3,000 jobs coming to the state.

“Well buy things from Raytheon or M3 or CAID industries, and then those people who got paid by us buy groceries or go to a restaurant,” Jannuzi said with regard to how money recirculates back into the local economy.

He said Saturday’s celebration was all about remaining focused on their mission and looking forward to the impacts the program will have on science and the economy over the next century.

“This is an event for the public to come and hear about what weve been doing for the past 100 years,” he said. “And what were hoping to do for the next hundred.”



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