Our fathers are some of our very first teachers — and their interests and hobbies can play a role in shaping who we turn out to be. Many people inherited a lifelong love of the cosmos from their dads. For others, skygazing offered a way to connect and spend quality time together. They’ll always remember looking up at the night sky and getting lost in a sea of stars — with dad at their side.
As Father’s Day approaches June 21, it’s a great time to honor the father figures in your life who love learning about the universe and everything in it with a unique space-themed gift. This year, many of us cannot spend quality time with our fathers and grandfathers because we must socially distance and keep each other safe. But a thoughtful gift (and a phone call) can go a long way in showing your appreciation.
Our partners at My Science Shop, the online store of Astronomy magazine, hand-picked their most popular gift options for men — just in time for Father’s Day. These gift ideas are sure to please any dad, grandfather or husband who can’t stop gazing at the great canopy of space and wondering about the mysteries of the universe.
These astronomy-themed gifts aren’t just going to sit in a drawer or collect dust on a shelf. Our top-rated gift recommendations will help him celebrate his interest in astronomy and grow deeper in his hobby. If you’re shopping for a budding amateur astronomer, you’ll also find options that will help them get their feet wet. And some of these gift ideas are simply meant to be fun tokens of gratitude that’ll make him smile and think of you — his favorite person in the universe.
Mars holds a special place in many astronomers’ minds. Arguably, it’s the likeliest place for discovering signs of life beyond Earth — which is essentially the mission of the Curiosity rover. Capturing the spirit of space exploration, the Mars Rover Tee features an eye-catching illustration of the beloved planetary explorer on the Red Planet.
We’re not sure why the tradition to get dad a tie for Father’s Day started — but we’re pretty sure that no one really wants to receive a tie. Socks are a different story, though. You can never have enough socks, and most men happen to love getting socks as gifts. Plus, what astronomy buff wouldn’t love this cool gift box of space socks that feature stars, spacecraft, and more?
After a night of skygazing, dad is going to need some coffee. This heat-changing Planet Mug is sure to be his new favorite way to wake up in the morning. Adding a hot beverage reveals the secrets of the solar system.
4. The Moon Mug
Did you know that the first meal on the Moon was bacon and coffee? We have a hunch that dad approves of this breakfast. The Moon Mug is a great way to pay homage to the Apollo mission — and the role that coffee undoubtedly played in getting humankind to the Moon. A hot beverage poured in the mug reveals details about the astronauts who walked on the Moon and their landing sites. When Dad reaches the bottom of the cup — an astronaut footprint appears. That’s one small sip for man, one giant gulp for mankind!
As low as $44.80 per box plus free shipping
People who love astronomy are intrigued by the unknown. Give dad the ultimate gift for people who love outer space and surprises: The Space & Beyond Box. The expertly curated subscription box comes from the makers of Astronomy magazine. Each installment of the box is filled with things that he never knew he needed — from from custom globes, to space rocks, to books and more. He’ll never get bored with this gift, since every box focuses on a different astronomy theme and offers limited-edition and exclusive collections he can’t get anywhere else.
The Moon, our closest cosmic neighbor, is the easiest object to see in the night sky even without binoculars or a telescope, making it a popular skygazing target. But Astronomy’s exclusive Moon Globe offers a whole new way to see our satellite — up close, in rich detail. This injection-molded 6″ globe shows 300 of the Moon’s most notable features and lunar mission landing sites. It is based on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data, a U.S. spacecraft that’s tasked with mapping the surface of the Moon. In addition to the Moon Globe, Astronomy also offers an impressive collection of some of the most popular and obscure bodies in the solar system.
Believe it or not, a pen is still the perfect, classic gift. That’s right — some people still sign checks, fill out paperwork, send letters and make lists. And, they need a trusty pen to get the job done. What makes this pen awesome is that it has the same pressurized ink refill cartridge that astronauts use. So, this pen will never fail its owner — it works underwater and upside down, can write over grease, and handles extreme temperatures. In case you were wondering: yes, it also performs in gravity-free zones.
1 year for $54.95, (digital and print, U.S.)
Astronomy magazine’s legacy dates back to the 70s. To this day, a subscription to Astronomy magazine is, bar none, the best way to stay up to date in the field. Each monthly issue of Astronomy includes expert science reporting, vivid color photography, comprehensive sky-event coverage, observing tips, and equipment reviews. As an added bonus, dad will think of you every time the new issue arrives at their doorstep.
There are 1 billion trillion stars in the observable universe. Each star is born and dies, with a unique story to tell. It’s a journey that our own Sun began some 4.6 billion years ago. Cosmic Clouds 3-D: Where Stars Are Born takes readers to the birthplace of stars — in nebule, which are beautiful clouds of dust and that are scattered throughout most galaxies. The book features hundreds of stunning images of nebulae captured by ground-based and space telescopes in unique stereo views that show these stellar nurseries in three dimensions. Written by Astronomy’s editor, David Eicher, and Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May — and 3-D glasses are included!
A print from Jon Lomberg, the award winning artist behind the popular Cosmos series, would make a great gift for fans of Carl Sagan. Astronomy magazine’s one-of-a-kind Milky Way poster offers a scientifically accurate depiction of our home galaxy and its nearest neighbors. A companion poster in the set brings the science fiction fodder of the Encyclopedia Galactica to life, which depicts the Milky Way as a network of civilizations at varying stages of technological advancement. These are cool posters that will be a welcome addition to any space-themed collection.