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New 'Atlas Obscura' Book Offers Host of Space Oddities to Visit on Earth

"Atlas Obscura, 2nd Edition" by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton.
"Atlas Obscura, 2nd Edition" by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton. (Image credit: Workman Publishing)

If you're looking to plan a space-themed trip but you've already been to NASA's Kennedy and Johnson space centers, Atlas Obscura's new book can offer off-the-beaten-path cosmic destinations.

"Atlas Obscura, 2nd Edition: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders (opens in new tab)" (Workman Publishing, 2019) offers around-the-world destination recommendations for travelers looking for something unusual. Based on the website of the same name, the book was written by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton and covers oddities of every nature. Plenty of those recommendations touch on spaceflight and related topics.

Perhaps you'd like to see icons of spaceflight itself: the book recommends stops like Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where Russian Soyuz vehicles still launch to the International Space Station. Or visit Australia's museum dedicated to the Skylab station that fell out of the sky.

Related: 5 Great Summer Vacation Ideas for Space Lovers

Or, if you're more interested in science destinations, consider visiting facilities like Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia or the Large Zenith Telescope with its mercury mirror in Canada.

Museum options abound, including historic planetariums, Germany's space travel museum, a museum dedicated to Galileo Galilei (and his preserved middle finger) and the Shanghai Astronomical Museum.

"Atlas Obscura" also offers places to see where space and Earth intersect, from finding Libyan desert glass to visiting Namibia's massive Hoba meteorite, left where it fell since it's too massive to move.

Or, of course, you could take the alien route. Consider the Betty and Barney Hill Archive in New Hampshire, dedicated to alien abduction accounts; stop by memorials of encounters with UFOs in Poland and Sweden, or even visit a would-be alien welcome center in South Carolina.

The book explores plenty of other space-related destinations as well. It's not quite the same as visiting space — but we can't all be astronauts.

You can buy Atlas Obscura, 2nd Edition: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders at Amazon (opens in new tab).

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Meghan Bartels
Meghan Bartels

Meghan is a senior writer at Space.com and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined Space.com in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.