Tucson, AZ

If You're Interested in Science, Check Out These Two Places in Tucson

Kate Feathers

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Anyone into science?

Tucson is full of various museums, and the range of topics is truly wide - you can find museums that focus on art, military history, nature, toys, transportation, and more.

How about the places that are related to science, though? Observatories, planetariums, science centers? Well, if you'd like to find out more about such places in Tucson, this is the article for you.

Ready? Let's have a look at two science-related places in Tucson, Arizona.

Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium

The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium can be found on the University of Arizona campus and it focuses on a variety of topics such as optics, biology, energy, and more.

The center used to be called "The Grace H. Flandrau Planetarium" and it used to be a part of the UA Department of Astronomy. It's still connected to the research community at the university, which surely opens up more space for new discoveries to be made.

The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium opened to the public in 1975, and in 2016, it underwent its biggest renovation since the opening date.

So what exhibitions can you discover in the center? There's for example an exhibition called "Solar System Revealed", which is described on the official website thus:

"Featuring scale models of the planets, you’ll be amazed to see just how tiny the Earth and Mars are in comparison to the size of our Sun. Discover interesting facts about all 8 planets along with Pluto the dwarf planet, the Asteroid Belt, and the Kuiper Belt. Build your very own Solar System at the Solar System Creator. Learn about the amazing science being done in our Solar System by researchers here at the University of Arizona. Plus, you’ll learn about NASA’s new OSIRIS-REx mission to return a sample from an asteroid. The University of Arizona is leading this breakthrough mission and the mission headquarters is right here in Tucson!"

Other exhibitions include "Sharks: Magnificent & Misunderstood", "Welcome to the Critical Zone" or "HiRISE: Eye in the Martian Sky". There are also planetarium shows.

The ticket price is 18 dollars per adult, 16 dollars per senior or military, and 14 dollars per child or college student. The place is located at 1601 E. University Blvd. in Tucson.

Richard F Caris Mirror Lab

The Richard F Caris Mirror Laboratory in Tucson is also located at the University of Arizona and it focuses on large lightweight mirrors. Thanks to these mirrors, completely new telescopes can be made, and these telescopes allow for a better and deeper exploration of the universe (specifically, you can explore space in optical and infrared light). The mirrors are made out of Ohara E-6 low expansion glass.

To quote the official website of the laboratory:

"The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab continues its impressive history of successful, groundbreaking mirror castings with the Giant Magellan Telescope. Upon completion, this telescope will be the largest and most advanced earth-based telescope in the world. Currently, five of the seven 8.4 meter segmented mirrors have been cast. The first and second mirrors are complete and the other five are in various stages of production."

Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article (25th May 2021), the tours are temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you can add the place to your list of places you'd like to visit in Tucson once everything goes back to normal.

In case you'd like to visit in the future, the place is located at 527 National Championship Drive in Tucson.

Final Thoughts

These are the two science-related places in Tucson, Arizona, that I would recommend. Of course, there are many more interesting places you can discover in Tucson. Tucson is full of possibilities. Why not explore the city a bit more?

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I'm a student of Languages & Comparative Literature who writes about relationships, feminism and personal growth. Discover more of my work: https://linktr.ee/clumsylinguist

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