Who hasn’t occasionally cast their eyes upward and gazed in awe at the vastness of space? The sheer size, the remoteness, the small points of light signaling far-off, enormous celestial bodies? Regardless of age, it’s a thing to behold.
I especially find the Northern Hemisphere’s winter night sky enchanting. One of my fondest memories is when I was eleven of twelve and walked out of a bustling Christmas party, across a snowy field, and stood in a hoodie staring up at Orion. It was so clear and present, even though it was bone-chillingly cold out. I recommend trying it at least once.
For some, the pursuit of the stars and other space-bound entities is more than a passing fancy. People get really into astronomy and often find themselves poring over the latest images from NASA. For folks like this, gift giving is fun. In my experience, they’re likely to love just about anything that taps into the enormity and beauty of space. If you know someone like this, you’ve come to the right place.
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For the enchanted stargazers on your list, here are the top ten best astronomy gifts for Christmas.
1. Sharp Shirter Space Duvet Cover
Ensure the space lover in your life dreams of the stars every night with this series of duvet covers. Available in the four common bed sizes, you can choose from 26 different images of our very own universe. These include the Carina Neubla, the Milky Way, Magellenic Cloud, and more. The duvets are made with a polyester blend and are printed on both sides. You could also pick them up the comforter insert, as well.
Price: $49.99 and up
2. Mova Globe
Okay, to be fair, these are somewhat pricy. But they’re also fairly amazing technological achievements. These are rotating globes powered by any and all ambient light. The mechanism that drives the motion is concealed inside, hidden by the specially-created paint that makes up the richly detailed graphics. The outsides are made of a special polymer resin and fluids that allow them to rotate smoothly on the included base. The result is a beautiful, constantly-turning globe with an accurate depiction of the astronomical entity you choose. We’ve featured the Moon here, but they also make Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn, and more.
3. Authentic Models Hanging Solar System Mobile
If the above item is a bit rich, you can get all of our local solar system in this mobile for a bit less. This is a good choice both as an educational tool for kids and as a decoration for space buffs. Great for an office or a bedroom.
4. Uncle Milton In My Room Star Theater Pro Home Planetarium
After you hang up the mobile above, you can cast the entire night’s sky worth of stars on the ceiling above it with this planetarium projector. The stars disc that’s included will project 10,000 stars onto any surface with the adjustable-focus lens. The small motor will gently rotate the stars as you watch. In addition to the stars disc, it also comes with an Earth/Moon/Sun disc. Others are available separately, including Milky Way, Jovian System, Nebulae and more. The optional 30 or 60 minute auto shutoff means it can be used as a nightlight before bedtime.
Price: $122.26 (39 percent off MSRP)
5. Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
Naturally, every amateur astronomer must have a telescope. This one is meant for quick set up and is small enough to travel with. It even comes with a backpack to make it easy to bring it along on trips out of town, perhaps where the light pollution isn’t so bad. The full-sized telescoping tripod means it’s every bit as easy to use as a full-size version. It’s a good option for beginners or as a backup to a more serious telescope. Speaking of, Celestron also offers the 127EQ PowerSeeker for just about double the price, which still makes it affordable for relative novice star viewing.
Price: $59.99 (33 percent off MSRP)
6. ‘Observer’s Notebook: Astronomy’ by Princeton Architectural Press
Once the space lover in your life gets comfortable with the telescope above, they’ll pretty quickly want to document what they’ve seen. This notebook combines helpful stargazing guides and references with space for jotting notes about the best locations and time of year for seeing favorite constellations. Help them keep a record of what they’ve seen with this beautifully bound notebook.
7. LeSportsac Women’s Classic Large Weekender
Of course, not everything astronomy-related has to be so faithfully rendered. Sometimes a little style mixed with the science is a good thing. This weekender bag is perfect for the astrophile in your life. This bag is a collaboration between LeSportsac and Rifle Paper Co., bringing the latter’s design to the textile space. It measures about ten inches by eight inches by two inches.
8. KMDTees Constellation Hoodie
To give them something to toss in their weekender bag, try these constellation hoodies. Printed on your choice of black, heather, navy, or royal and available in five sizes, these highlight either the iconic Orion or the elegant Cassiopeia. They’re made of a cotton-polyester blend in varying percentages depending on color. You could also try their Give Me Some Space or Nine Planets sweatshirts for more on-theme options.
9. Cognitive Surplus Night Sky Star Chart Northern Hemisphere Summer & Winter Stemless Wine Glasses
For a little star-bound elegance at wine o’clock, consider these lovely stemless wine glasses. Each glass depicts either the summer or winter night sky as seen from the Northern Hemisphere in a fine gold ink. At the bottom of each is a landscape design to anchor the scene. They make a similar hand blown stemware set, as well.
Buy the Cognitive Surplus Night Sky Star Chart Northern Hemisphere Summer & Winter Stemless Wine Glasses here.
10. New Horizon Aviation Space Poster
A simple poster can effectively capture the beauty and power of the cosmos. These posters from New Horizon Aviation capture your choice of celestial bodies so that they might be put on display at the office, at home, or anywhere a touch of awe is needed. The featured image above is that of the Cassiopeia supernova, but options like the Magellanic Cloud, Monkey Head Nebula, Carina Nebula, and plenty more are available, too. If those don’t work for you, check out these Elise Mahan wall decals for a stylized approach.
Price: $8.95 and up
Need more ideas for your Christmas shopping list? Check out our Gifts category for posts from our whole team throughout the month of December as we help you put a bow on your holiday buying.