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I had a discussion with my girlfriend recently about what are good gifts for astronomy lovers. Not only because Christmas is coming but also because there is always something- birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, Hanukkah, Valentine’s day and so on and so on. It’s like a neverending hunt for gifts all year round.
Now, if the gift is for someone like me who has one or two very specific hobbies, like astronomy, it’s even harder. So, I decided to make you (oh, poor people who have a friend, spouse or family member interested in space and astronomy) a guide with ideas that we came up with, some obvious and some surprising, to help you buy the next present for that special person. This guide is helpful for anyone who has no idea what an amateur astronomer or space enthusiast might want, and no matter what you choose from this list, it won’t be a total failure like a set of Tupperware.
Astronomy Gift Ideas For Adults
Let’s start with astronomy gift ideas for adults. Once you start searching for them, I think there are plenty to choose from. However, if you would feel better if the person chooses a gift for themselves, that’s more than fine too. Actually, it’s highly appreciated. Nothing wrong with some financial support because astronomy might get a bit pricey when you get properly into it. So, I would suggest to print a voucher and give money with it or buy a gift card from a specialized store. Trust me; we love to buy new accessories for a telescope and other toys and trust me, we know best what we want and what we need 🙂
Name A Star SCAM
There are billions of stars on the sky, and it would be pretty amazing if one of them were named after your loved one or if he could have the honor and name it as he wishes. I’m sure that in a worldwide internet you came across agencies that offer you, for a very attractive price, a possibility to name a star. It comes with the certificate of course, possibly a gift box and I don’t know what else. More money you pay, more you will get, like a brighter star, or binary stars.
Let me make it clear. It’s a total scam! As beautiful and romantic as it sounds, it’s not real at all. When you think about it, for more than a second, it makes sense. Why on earth would public be in any way responsible for naming stars? That’s what we have scientists for and specialized organizations, and there is a proper system in place for naming stars and other celestial objects. The organization is called International Astronomical Union, and if you want to read more about how stars really got their names and why you can’t do it, check this article on their official website.
Now, after I crashed your romantic dreams, I hope you know that all other activities related to naming a star are a scam as well. For example, buying a star, buying land on the Moon or other planets, etc. Sorry about that, but now you can give your money on some better cause or at least something real 🙂 So, let’s move on.
Meteorite As A Gift
Unlike the previous not-so-much-a-gift, this one is super real and super awesome. Buying a meteorite is different than buying any other gift because it’s something that actually comes to Earth from outer space. I think that’s great and any amateur astronomer would be happy to own a piece of the universe. What you need to consider is how much money you want to spend on a gift and what type of meteorite you want. You don’t have to worry because there are so many choices, that you will find the good one. However, as with anything else on the internet, make sure that you are giving money to a legitimate business and the meteorite has an authenticity certificate. You don’t want to end up with a piece of rock from the street.
There are three main types of meteorites- iron, stone, and stony-iron meteorites. Also, you can buy the rarest type which is the planetary meteorite- came from Moon or Mars. The price depends on the size and how common or rare is the meteorite. Now, if it’s up to me, I would want just a regular piece (of whatever size) in some display box so that I can display it in my office or room. But you can also buy jewelry made with a piece of meteorite or from it. I let you decide whether this is a good or bad idea. I think, this option might be more suitable for ladies, but hey, you know the person this is for, better than I. Also, the thing with meteorites is that you can buy them even if the person already has one – just buy a different kind or different cut.
Campo Del Cielo Meteorite
This meteorite from 4000-5000 years ago was found in area Campo Del Cielo in Argentina. It is an iron type, and this specific one from Dancing Bear can be bought an extra large size which means 35-60g a piece. As I said before, I would prefer a single piece like this, no jewelry, nothing fancy, just a little bit of space rock:) It comes with display box, velvet pouch, and bonus treasure chest, yay! The authenticity certificate and some educational card as well. I also chose this gift because I think it’s important to help less fortunate people and even little gesture like this is appreciated. When you buy this gift for your favorite amateur astronomer, you support The Pearl Buck Center in their mission to help people with disabilities obtain employment. Moreover, Dancing Bear’s Rocks and Minerals gives 10% of their profits to charities.
Star Constellation Map
I searched the internet for you guys, and I came up with a fantastic replacement for that “name a star” fiasco. At least, I think it’s fantastic, and as a representant of amateur astronomers, I gave myself the power to speak for all of us 😀 The gift is very simple but beautiful. It is a personalized star constellation map. Why I chose this is because not only it would make a great gift for someone interested in astronomy and space, but also anyone else. It’s unique because you can choose any date, which is special to you or the person this is for like the birth of a child, the first kiss or the wedding date and with information about location, date and time you get a print of the star constellation from that precise moment. If you have any special request, guys from this company are more than happy to help.
Space Themed Clothing
I think this category is pretty obvious. Buying a merch with astronomy and space theme is an easy way to go for any occasion, and there is plenty of choices. Whether you’re searching for a women’s or men’s clothing, different age groups or different price ranges, you will find something you like. This category is really broad, so I’m not going to give you specific examples of everything, but you can buy anything from T-shirts, leggings, and accessories to socks and underwear.
Ok, so, do you remember when socks used to be a terrible present? Not anymore… Socks experience a big comeback with millions of fun prints to chose from. Not only it’s a practical gift, but also it gives the new owner a chance to express their playful side even in a serious job. I love to receive socks as a gift any time of the year, there is never enough, and there is always a pair or two missing 😀 You can even make a tradition from it and behold! The collection is born. You can check some of these or these. Very reasonable quality, great design and they seem to be a hit with new owners. The second one, make sure you check the space 4-pack, they also come in a gift box. Or keep looking until you find a print you like.
3D Models, Replicas, And Astronomy Home Decor
It is another excellent gift area for astronomy lovers. Why? You can find many beautiful gifts here and again; they’re available at different price levels. You can spend as little as ten bucks or as much as you want. I think the price should depend on how significant is the occasion that you need a present for but anyway, little things make people happy too. That’s why the next gift I chose, is under $10 and I would definitely be happy and appreciate if someone gives it to me.
Hubble Telescope 3D Model
There isn’t an astronomer in the world that wouldn’t know the famous Hubble telescope. It was the first space telescope launched in the low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation. Hubble telescope made the most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope, and it is said to be one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built. If you want to learn more about Hubble’s telescope, check NASA website, they have some interesting facts about it too.
Now, back to the gift. It’s the 3D model kit of the Hubble space telescope, and it has to build by cutting the components from the metal card. This is not a toy, certainly not recommended for kids! Also, according to reviews, it’s a nice challenge to build it up, especially if you don’t have experience with making models. But it’s fun too and gives you a great feeling of accomplishment afterward. And then, the model can be proudly displayed on the shelf 🙂
If you don’t think Hubble space telescope 3D model is the right choice, I can recommend models of Mars Rover, Apollo Lunar Module or Voyager Spacecraft. Anyway, I think, you’ll be good with any of these, and it’s going to be an exciting gift slash new home decor slash new hobby for your favorite astronomer.
Newton Telescope Replica
Ok, guys, this is a serious one. Newton telescope replica is on a high end of the price scale, and it’s there justly. It is the limited edition created by top Vixen Optics, and not only it looks impressive, but it’s also properly working scope. Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most influential scientists of all times, was not only mathematician and physicist but also astronomer (and author and theologian). You might not know this, but he made breakthrough discoveries in the field of astronomy, and he invented the Newtonian reflecting telescope. He used a mirror instead of a lens to produce an image, and the design of his telescope is used until today, and we know it under the name- Newtonian.
When you are considering this gift, I assume it’s not for an astronomy beginner but for someone truly living this hobby (or lifestyle, should I say?). It’s best suited for someone who can appreciate the history and the great invention of the 17th century which this handmade replica represents. As I said before, it’s duly working equipment. Don’t get fooled by the outside look, it has superior optics inside.
- Optical Tube Type: Flexible-Tube Focus Adjustment Type
- Primary Mirror Diameter: 70 mm
- Focal Distance: 280 mm
- Magnification: 14x (K 20 mm) / 28x (K 10 mm)
- Optical Tube Material: Aluminum Alloy
- Tube Coating: Triple-layer antique color hand-coating
- Mount Type: Globe Pedestal
- Mount Material: Varnished Pure ash
- Optical Tube Length: About 300 mm
- Optical Tube Diameter: 90 mm
- Globe Diameter: 100 mm
- Pedestal Diameter 220 mm
- Total Height: About 305 mm
- Incredible conversation and display piece
Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery
As you might have noticed, we’re still in “models, replicas and home decor” section. And it’s not a mistake; I just wanted to add this fantastic book to the astronomy gift ideas guide, and I told myself, if it’s not someone’s cup of tea, it can still be used as a decoration. Like, displayed on a table, under the vase or something, so I’m leaving it here.
Books about astronomy are great, and they present a huge part of where most of my knowledge about space is from. That was my case, as growing up without the internet, there was nothing else available. Still, I like to read educational literature about astronomy but also real-life stories like this one. It will be a terrific gift for any astronomer, amateur astronomer, wannabe astronaut, space geek or anyone who wants to read a memoir of a truly extraordinary person. I am talking about Scott Kelly who holds the record for consecutive days spent in space, a real modern-hero and if you still don’t know, google him please or better, buy this book (and don’t forget a copy for a friend). I guarantee you; it won’t become just a part of the coffee table display.
Space Gifts For Kids
I already covered ideas for adults, but let’s not forget our little fellas, future astronomers, and astronauts. First of all, I think one of the best gifts for kids that already are interested in astronomy are books. However, you can also try and spark interest in the space with them. I’m talking about astronomy basics, picture books about planets, our solar system, telescopes or stargazing.
Next, if you are not a fan of toys and also you don’t want to hand out money, there is a solution too. Experience gifts. For kids who are into space, awesome experience gifts are: visit a planetarium, go to NASA museum, NASA Kid’s Club, space camp, astronomy summer program and many more.
If the only thing your kid is talking about is space and you are at the point, you would like to buy him a telescope, here is how to choose the best telescope for kids. It’s 100% on the list, but it’s just a too long topic, so you better check my other article about it. Of course, there are great presents other than a telescope too, so let’s take a look at them.
I know, I put this on space gifts for kids list, but I actually know adults that would love it too. If you think that would be your case, don’t hesitate and get it, it’s pretty cool.
Star projector is precisely what you think it is. A small, modern design spherical projector that transforms your ceiling or wall into a starry night sky. It’s effortless to use with only four buttons, and it can be set to project still or rotating image. Also, a great feature is the power-off timer which can be set for either 30 minutes or 1 hour, and seriously set the mood for a good night sleep. There are 2 image discs in the box, and I think, that’s fair for the price and fine for kids. Another advantage of this gift is that you can, later on, purchase extra discs and build up a collection for a space nerd kiddo, and I promise that children won’t be able to stop staring at these beautiful images. For additional discs to a viewing library, I recommend Scenic discs from Miller Engineering.
3D Solar System Puzzle
This solar system puzzle set is recommended for kids 8 years and up, however, if your kid is really bright, it will be fun for him too. It’s a beautifully designed sturdy 3D paper puzzle with realistic solar system illustrations. This is a hands-on gift, and it’s a lot of fun to build. I think it will be great for any child, as it stimulates creativity, improve motor skills and develop intelligence. That it teaches about the solar system seems just like one more big plus. So, if you like educational toys and activities for kids, you won’t go wrong when you choose this puzzle. Oh, two more things. The puzzle also includes an educational planetary guide, and they are made from eco-friendly material.
LEGO City Spaceport
I’m pretty sure, you all are familiar with LEGO products, who wouldn’t be. So you know that it’s a high-quality brand, and children love them. Another great thing about them is; they’re so versatile with many different products accommodating different interests and hobbies among kids. Like this Spaceport one, so good for space nerds. I’m excited only talking about it; I would be happy to play with it too. (Seriously guys, even adult space fan will be happy with it.) Anyway, the recommended age is 6-12 years old, but I really think it depends. I read reviews that 5yo loves it, 10yo loves it, and 15yo loves it. These “toys” are toys, but also “collectibles”, so keep that in mind before you turn it down.
LEGO City Spaceport includes 5 minifigures with assorted accessories: a scientist, 2 service personnel and 2 astronauts (one female astronaut because girls are awesome). Next, it features a space shuttle, mobile launchpad, satellite, countdown display, antenna, and a service vehicle.
The lucky kid will love you for this gift!
Space Adventure Bedding
What a great idea, going to sleep with a head lost in the space. This space-themed bedding is a lovely gift for all little space explorers, and I’m sure it will bring their imagination to life. This precise collection is for a twin bed and includes soft reversible comforter and coordinating shams. One side has stars, sun and planet motifs on the black background, and the other one, constellation print allover. Feel free, to check other similar options too, but I think this one has a really charming design and would look great in both, boy’s and girl’s room.
Gifts For Space Enthusiasts
What is this category? Who is included here? Well, anyone who isn’t amateur astronomer but loves the space and everything that’s related to it. It’s different than the first category because here, you can find people who love space games, sci-fi tv series, tv series about space exploration, Star Wars fans, Neil deGrasse Tyson fans, and so on. I would sum the category up as people who are fans of space in general:) Let’s check what gift ideas I got.
Yes, again. We are back to books; I can’t help it, I think it’s an excellent gift. There are plenty of awesome ones but I’m going to suggest only three, and I guarantee you, any true space junkie will eat them with a cover. You have to trust me on this because I’m not going to review them all, but they all are bestsellers. One more thing though, always when I mention books, and you are ready to purchase one for your friend, keep in mind there’s an option for Audiobook or Audio CD too. At least many times, it is a possibility, and if your friend has no time to read, perhaps this would be better for him. Here’s the list.
- Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
- The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen William Hawking
- Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel by Michio Kaku
Steam Gift Cards
This is an option when you don’t want to hand out money, but are unsure what to buy. Many space enthusiasts are also gamers, and if this is your case, the steam gift card is money well spent. I don’t think this needs another comment.
Space Voyager Vans Collection
For all fans of NASA, here comes the Space Voyager collection from Vans, paying tribute to 60 years of space exploration and innovation. They made hi-top sneakers inspired by moon boots, some other sneakers, some apparel, and bag or two. I think that all together it’s 8 items and all look cool. It’s a good gift for someone who likes brand clothes, is probably younger (at least in spirit) and NASA supporter. Personally, I like the shoes most, but I would wear any of their stuff, and I think any space enthusiast would.
Displate Metal Posters
I love this gift idea. It’s ordinary but exciting at the same time- it’s the website with an artwork that’s printed on the metal and magnet-mounted on the wall. What I love about it is that Displate collaborates with talented people all over the world and promote their original work on such a huge platform. Another thing is that they run a tree planting mission in an effort to reduce the ecological footprint- they claim by buying 1 Displate you plant 10 trees.
It’s in space enthusiast category because Displate have tons of categories on their website and once you start searching for the space and space-related themes, there is no end to it. From solar system prints through Star Wars to hard to describe space artwork, it’s all there and more. Check it out because I’m sure you’ll find a great and unique gift there, and most probably, you’ll end up buying some wall art yourself.
I wanted to put his lamp on the list because I saw it on the internet before, and I think it got quite popular. It looks great; it has beautiful realistic moon design, three different light colors and a touch sensor. This one is 5.9 inch, but there are three more sizes to choose from, and bigger ones have more color options too. My girlfriend loves the small one, so I think we’re getting one pretty soon.
When I was searching gifts for this article, I wanted to make a list of things that are genuinely good gifts, and I think I did that well. Some were quite obvious, like clothing, some lesser known and exciting, some, that I own myself. I hope this guide will be helpful to you guys and you’ll make your loved one happy.