Every year, the holiday season is the perfect time to deepen one’s love of the cosmos. It’s also a great time to introduce someone you know to the magic of astronomy and skygazing by giving them a space-themed gift. But finding the perfect astronomy gift can be a daunting task.
That’s why My Science Shop, the online store of Astronomy magazine, curated this list of top-rated space gifts for the 2021 Christmas and holiday season. Whether you’re shopping for a budding astronomer, a seasoned backyard observer (or yourself) these unique space gifts will bring much-needed enjoyment in the long months ahead.
This holiday season, you might find yourself reflecting on the important people in your life, and thinking of ways you can show your appreciation. Gift-giving is one of the too-few opportunities we have left to remind people that they are loved. And for many astronomy enthusiasts, it was a thoughtful Christmas gift that first put stars in their eyes.We hope you’ll find these space gift ideas helpful as you shop for loved ones on your list. But if you don’t find what you’re looking for, be sure to head over to MyScienceShop.com to browse our collection of globes, toys, posters, puzzles, shirts and much more.
We would like to wish you a safe and joyful holiday season — and clear skies in the New Year.
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Are you stumped on what gift to give your space geek this year? Allow the team of experts at Astronomy magazine do the shopping for you. The Space & Beyond Box is a quarterly subscription box for astronomy lovers and backyard skywatchers. Not only will the recipient deepen their understanding of the cosmos, they’ll have a little fun while they’re at it. Another benefit of the Space & Beyond box is that receiving a box is like getting multiple presents in one. Inside every box, there’s 5-7 curated items, including globes, books, space rocks, models, and more. There’s an element of surprise, as each installment of the box focuses on a different space theme that isn’t revealed until the box ships. Previous themes have included: The Galaxies CollectionThe Lunar CollectionThe Night Sky Viewing CollectionThe Planetary Collection The Comets and Asteroids Collection What will the theme of the next Space & Beyond Box be? Well, you’ll have to order a box for your friends and family to find out.
Another year of skygazing is almost here, with plenty of clear skies ahead! The skygazer on your list won’t want to miss a single celestial event in the new year — and they won’t, if they’re gifted this Deep Space Mysteries Calendar. This annual calendar has long been one of our most popular gifts, for good reason. Every month, it details planet visibility, meteor showers, conjunctions, and other observing opportunities. Moon phases and major astronomical events are also highlighted. Exclusive to this year, the calendar also features an exploration of the Large Magellanic Cloud!”
The annual Observer’s Handbook is an astronomy guidebook that stands out from the rest. Since 1907, this book has served as a must-have reference guide for amateur astronomers across North America seeking essential information for locating and observing a wide range of astronomical phenomena. Highly regarded, this book is the perfect gift for any backyard observer who wants to better understand what they’re observing and how to grow in their hobby.Because the Observer’s Handbook is highly readable and easy to understand, it’s an excellent gift for both new and seasoned sky spectators. Contained in it’s 352-pages is everything skygazers need to plan out their year. Readers will find monthly summaries of sky events — from eclipses, to planetary conjunctions, to meteor showers and beyond. Each edition incorporates helpful articles on changing solar system phenomena, as well as basic data on a range of sky features — including close stars, planets, moons, eclipses, the Sun, and more.
Everyone loves Mars. But it’s safe to say that space enthusiasts love Mars just a little more. Although many kids dream of becoming an astronaut and being the first to set foot on the Red Planet — space geeks never stopped. This year, give them the gift of an adventure to their favorite planet with the Mars Globe. The striking red color and rich detail make this Mars Globe a great gift to be studied and displayed. The 6-inch, injected molded globe showcases 203 features on the Red Planet, which are labeled. Familiar features like craters and mountains — and lesser-known chaoses, labyrinthi, scopuli, and sulci — are found on this globe. Available only on MyScienceShop, this globe was developed using images from the Viking missions, and updated with data from the Mars Global Surveyor.
You don’t have to be an astronaut to wear these socks, but we’re willing to bet that any space traveler would love to have a set of their own. Luckily, they go just as well with sneakers as they do with a space suit. This set of spunky socks is the perfect way to spruce up your wardrobe and show off your outer space obsession. Includes 5 pairs of comfortable Turkish cotton socks adorned with stars, spacecraft, and more.
The patent for the first ballpoint pen was issued in October 1888. It was an invention that changed the world. But in the 1960s, Paul C. Fisher designed the pen that would boldly go where no pen has gone before. His space pen could do what no other pen could do: withstand the conditions of space. That’s why this practical and classic gift would please any space history buff, and would be a great addition to any Apollo mission collection. In fact, this Special Edition Bullet Space Pen has the same pressurized ink refill cartridge used on the Apollo 11 mission and is still used on all manned space flights today. There’s nothing this pen can’t handle — whether it’s zero gravity, writing over grease, upside down, underwater, on dry surfaces, or extreme temperatures.
The Constellations Mug is a thoughtful gift for anyone who loves looking at the stars on a clear night. It’s also a fun gift for anyone who drinks coffee and appreciates a good mug. Pouring in a hot liquid will reveal Cassiopeia, Perseus, Saggitarius, Hercules, Andromeda, Scorpius, Taurus, Ursa Major (Big Dipper), Ursa Minor (Little Dipper), Orion, and Gemini. This astronomy-themed mug is microwave safe, hand wash only — and space geek approved.
Metal Earth Mars Rover Perseverance & Ingenuity Helicopter
Launched on July 30, 2020, the Mars rover Perseverance has a mission to seek signs of previous life on the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater. With it launched Ingenuity, the 4 pound helicopter, which successfully completed the first powered controlled flight by an aircraft on a planet besides Earth on April 19, 2021. This challenging 2 sheet assembly kit is made of silver steel and requires no glue or soldering. Whether you’ve completed other Metal Earth models and are looking for a more advanced project, or you’re simply a fan of this iconic space-exploring duo, this 2-in-1 model from Metal Earth is for you.
NASA Pioneer Plaque Replica
The NASA Pioneer space mission launched two spacecraft in 1972 and 1973, each bearing a golden plaque. These unique plaques featured Carl Sagan’s illustrations explaining to any alien who might find it who we are, and where we are from. You can now purchase your own full-size 6” x 9” metal replica of this famous plaque from history.