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    Posted on Feb 21, 2014

    22 Destinations Science Nerds Need To See Before They Die

    "There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." —Isaac Asimov

    1. The Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego, Calif.

    Joe McNally/Contributor / Getty Images
    Joe McNally/Contributor / Getty Images
    Joe McNally/Contributor / Getty Images

    The Hale Telescope, built by Caltech, has discovered distant objects at the edges of the known universe, given us the first direct evidence of stars in distant galaxies, and shown us thousands of asteroids.

    2. Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy

    Gianni Tortoli / Getty Images

    The Objective Lens

    Gianni Tortoli / Getty Images

    Galileo's Telescope

    This museum famously houses Galileo's personal instruments, as well as many artifacts from the 15th to 19th century, mostly pioneering scientific instruments. It also contains the thumb, index, and middle finger from Galileo's right hand.

    3. The Aurora Borealis

    Unique Captures by Stephen Hancock / Getty Images
    Daniel A. Leifheit / Getty Images
    Tommy Johansen / Getty Images

    Visible from a multitude of Northern countries, this natural light display is caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere and is exceptionally beautiful.

    4. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa, Japan

    Ippei & Janine Naoi / Via Flickr: ippei-janine
    Terje Langeland / Getty Images
    Shayne Hill Xtreme Visuals / Getty Images

    The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is one of the largest in the world. Its main tank, the Kuroshio Sea, has almost two million gallons of water and houses many different sea creatures, including whale sharks.

    *Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Osaka as the location of this aquarium.

    5. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Ill.

    Michael Kappel / Via Flickr: m-i-k-e
    Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago/Contributor / Getty Images
    Woodleywonderworks / Via Flickr: wwworks

    The Science of Storms exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago reveals the science behind seven natural phenomena — lightning, fire, tornados, avalanches, tsunamis, sunlight and atoms in motion. The exhibit also contains more than 50 interactive experiments.

    6. The Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany

    Genji A / Via Flickr: 57898157@N06
    Marc Schlueter / Via Flickr: norai-koeln
    Alf Igel / Via Flickr: fhk

    The Deutsches Museum features incredible exhibits including its famed Marine Navigation exhibition. You can climb about the "Maria," a fishing vessel built in 1880, as well as many other boats marking the three most important nautical technological periods: sail, steam, and the diesel engine.

    7. Body Worlds — Traveling Exhibit

    mattystevenson / Via Flickr: mattystevenson
    AFP/Stringer / Getty Images
    AFP/Stringer / Getty Images

    Body Worlds is a traveling exhibit created by Gunther Van Hagens, who invented a plastination technique to preserve real human bodies. The exhibit features real human bodies doing different physical and mental activities, allowing people to see the exact nature of the inside of the human body.

    8. The Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Wash.

    Whidbey LVR / Via Flickr: whidbeylvr
    Whidbey LVR / Via Flickr: whidbeylvr
    architecturegeek / Via Flickr: architecturegeek

    This amazing exhibition combines science with art. At the facility, you can see Chihuly's beautiful works, as well as videos of the science behind his working process.

    9. The Cabinet War Rooms in London, England.

    Ryan Buterbaugh / Via Flickr: mastorrent
    Epics/Contributor / Getty Images

    SIGSALY Code-Scrambling Telephone to the Pentagon

    SHAUN CURRY/Stringer / Getty Images

    Confidential Correspondence Letters

    The Cabinet War Rooms are in an underground bunker that served as the British government command center during World War II. Located under the Whitehall area of Westminster, these secret rooms house incredible technology used during the war, including a code-scrambling, transatlantic telephone used for correspondence between Winston Churchill and the Pentagon.

    *Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Westminster Abbey as the location of the Cabinet War Rooms.

    10. Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D. C.

    Via Shutterstock
    Richard I'Anson / Getty Images
    Greg Dale / Getty Images

    Cockpit controls of a Boeing 707

    The Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum houses the largest collection of aircrafts and spacecrafts in the world.

    11. The Field Museum in Chicago, Ill.

    jimdeane / Via Flickr: jimdphoto
    Chicago Tribune/Contributor / Getty Images

    Darwin's book and magnifying glass

    Chicago Tribune/Contributor / Getty Images

    Collection of Hominid Skulls

    This museum features many fascinating exhibits including a recently-opened, in depth evolution exhibit. This exceptional, interactive exhibit features personal artifacts of Charles Darwin and a collection of his discoveries and works.

    12. The Exploratorium in San Francisco, Calif.

    the_exploratorium / Via Flickr: exploratorium
    (jennY)
    amy snyder / Via Flickr: exploratorium

    The Exploratorium is known for its interactive exhibits. At any given time, this informal learning center features around 600 participatory exhibits.

    13. The Neil Armstrong Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio

    Corvair Owner / Via Flickr: joeross
    Corvair Owner / Via Flickr: joeross
    Allie_Caulfield / Via Flickr: wm_archiv

    The Neil Armstrong Museum features a F5 Skydancer, the Gemini 8 spacecraft, Apollo 11 artifacts and moonrocks. The outside of the building is made to resemble to moon, itself.

    14. The European Organization for Nuclear Research in Meyrin, Switzerland

    Domenico Salvagnin / Via Flickr: dominiqs

    The Compact Muon Solenoid, detector at the Large Hadron Collider.

    Skimaniac / Via Flickr: skimaniac
    Phototraffic / Via Flickr: traffic

    LHC Experiment Pit

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research is the cite of the Large Hadron Collider, the highest-energy particle collider in the world. Considered to be "one of the great engineering milestones of mankind," this facility offers guided tours and summer school courses for students.

    15. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

    Michael Kappel / Via Flickr: m-i-k-e

    The Computer Science Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting stories and artifacts of the modern age, and exploring the computing revolution and its impact on society.

    16. The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, Calif.

    Mike Chen / Via Flickr: mikechen-metalman
    Slices of Light / Via Flickr: justaslice
    Sergey Sus / Via Flickr: sergeysus

    Aside from the incredible views, the Griffith Observatory offers exhibits like the Wilder Hall of the Eye, the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky, and the Gunther Depths of Space.

    17. The Hayden Planetarium in New York

    WilliamNYC / Via Flickr: porto
    StarrGazr / Via Flickr: tracylee

    Zeiss Star Pojector

    marlambie / Via Flickr: marlambie

    The Hayden Planetarium offers daily shows on the birth of the universe and tours of the solar system using its state of the art theater (The Hayden Sphere Star Theater). This facility was also ground zero for the pluto-planet-demotion controversy.

    18. CosmoCaixa in Barcelona, Spain

    Carlos Lorenzo / Via Flickr: carlos_lorenzo
    roberto_venturini / Via Flickr: robven
    Victoria Gracia / Via Flickr: victoriagracia

    CosmoCaixa features an exceptional exhibit on the Amazon Rainforest.

    19. The Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio

    Howard TJ / Via Flickr: howardtj
    Howard TJ / Via Flickr: howardtj
    Stephen A. Wolfe / Via Flickr: swolfe

    COSI features more than three hundred amazing, interactive exhibits.

    20. La Cité des sciences de de l'Industrie in Paris, France

    coolmonfrere / Via Flickr: seibi
    Éole / Via Flickr: eole
    hannanik / Via Flickr: junglearctic

    This science museum is not only the largest in Europe, but features La géode, a spherical theater that faces the museum and its reflecting pools.

    21. The Titan Missile Museum in Green Valley, Ariz.

    Matt Blaze / Via Flickr: mattblaze
    Matt Blaze / Via Flickr: mattblaze

    Titan II Silo Flame Deflector

    RightBrainPhotography / Via Flickr: rightbrainphotography

    The Titan Missile Museum is the only remaining Titan II site open to the public. Here you can explore and relive a time when the threat of the nuclear war between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union was a reality.

    22. The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

    marcp_dmoz / Via Flickr: marcp_dmoz
    marcp_dmoz / Via Flickr: marcp_dmoz
    ho visto nina volare / Via Flickr: 41099823@N00

    The City of Arts and Sciences is a huge, beautiful complex composed of five main elements: the Hemisfèric (IMAX cinema and digital projections), the Umbracle (a landscaped vantage point and car park), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum (an innovative centre of interactive science), the Oceanográfico (the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 marine species) and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (which takes care of the operatic programme). The Agora gives the complex a multifunctional space.

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