Equip, Lifestyle

Equip: 12 Essentials for Amateur Astronomers, Week of March 29th

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What do you get the amateur astronomer in your life that has everything?  If a new high-end telescope is out of your budget, here are some novel and interesting gift ideas for your favorite astronomer. 

1. LEGO Space Shuttle Discovery

It’s an amazing time to be alive for space lovers.  We might not be launching Space Shuttles anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have one of your very own.  Lego is releasing a 2300+ piece Space Shuttle Discovery kit which includes not just the shuttle, but the Hubble Space Telescope as well! Appeal to their inner(or outer) kid with this awesome Lego set.

Get it from Lego

2. Solar Orbit Necklace

Showcase your love for our home system with this gorgeous bracelet that features stones representing each of the eight planets of our solar system.  The only downside is that they’ve left out Pluto, thanks to its demotion to dwarf planet, but that doesn’t make this bracelet any less gorgeous. 

Get it from Amazon

3. Ozma Records The Voyager Golden Record

Ever wondered what aliens might hear from us once they come across the Voyager probe? Wonder no longer. You can order your own set of Voyager’s golden record which comes with three vinyl LPs, a 96-page softcover book, and other goodies.  If you don’t want to break out the record player, you can also download digital versions of the files and listen to them on your computer or mobile device. 

Get it from Ozma Records

4. Sky & Telescope Magazine Subscription

Is there anything better than having a new magazine delivered every month, especially if it’s about a topic you enjoy? Sky & Telescope Magazine is tagged as the Essential Guide to Astronomy and is the perfect gift for any astronomer, regardless of their skill level. 

Get it from Sky & Telescope

5. Uxcell 3-Piece Galaxies Multicolor Duvet Cover Set

Sleep among the stars without ever having to leave the planet.  This set includes two galaxy-print pillow shams and a matching duvet cover for queen size beds. For a space-themed bedroom set, this is fantastically affordable. 

Get it from Amazon

6. Fangor Wifi/Bluetooth Portable Home Projector

Setting up a telescope and watching the sky on a laptop or phone screen can be an incredible experience, but why not take that up a notch? This portable, battery-powered projector can sync to phones and laptops and project your images in 1080p on any large and flat surface. As a bonus, you can use it for your next staycation too, creating your very own drive-in movie theater.

Get it from Amazon

7. Canon T7i DSLR Camera

One of the best things about astronomy is being able to capture the amazing sites that you see so you can share them with friends and family.  A DSLR camera gives you the ability to remove the lens and attach your camera directly to the telescope, and you can get a number of different lens attachments to help you capture everything. No more trying to fiddle with conflicting lenses to get the perfect shot.  

Get it from Amazon

8. Soondar Spaceman Astronaut LED Flexible USB Light

Add this adorable astronaut to your collection to keep things lit while you’re editing your photos or planning your next evening of skywatching. The astronaut sits on a flexible arm with a glowing visor and plugs into any spare USB port on your computer or laptop. 

Get it from Amazon

9. WatchDesign Astro II Constellation Watch

When the sun is high or the clouds are obscuring your view, you can use this watch to get a picture of the night sky.  In addition to telling you the time, this watch comes with a manually rotating planisphere disc that will show you what constellations are in the sky and where to look for each month of the year.

Get it from Amazon

10. Moonlight Lamp Moon Night Light

Bring a bit of moon magic home with you, with this gorgeous moon night light. Unlike the real thing, this moon is plastic, battery-powered, and is suitable for use nearly anywhere.

Get it from Amazon

11. Fisher Space Pen

Do you need to be able to write in zero gravity?  Probably not, but how cool is it to own a pen capable of doing just that.  The Fisher Space Pen is an advanced ballpoint pen that can write at any angle — even upside down — and functions in temperatures ranging from -30 F to 250 F. 

Get it from Amazon

12. 4.5” Jupiter MOVA Globe

Who needs a globe of the Earth when you can look at the window and see it.  Instead, invest in a globe of Jupiter, the biggest gas giant in our solar system.  This globe is slightly larger than a softball and uses solar technology to rotate on its own without the need for batteries or any external power source.

Get it from Amazon

Happy Shopping!

If you’re wondering what to get for the astronomer in your life, these items should give you a few ideas. Happy shopping!

Martin Banks