Gifts for the Astronomer: Top Editors’ Picks

Searching for that perfect astronomy-themed gift for a friend or loved one? Look no further, we've got you covered, with globes, atlases, calendars, and much more!

Top 5 Editors' Picks

1. Celestial Globe ($99.95)

Sky & Telescope's Celestial GlobeThis 12-inch freestanding globe allows you to explore the stars with an “inside-out” perspective that closely matches what you see in the night sky.

This globe isn't just beautiful; it's incredibly detailed, plotting 2,934 stars down to magnitude 5.5, with more than 300 common star names, 550 Bayer star designations, and double and variable stars indicated. You'll find deep-sky objects, too, from the Messier and Caldwell catalogs.

Created by Sky & Telescope and manufactured by Replogle, you won't find anything quite like this globe anywhere else.

2. Sky Atlas 2000.0 Deluxe Edition ($95.96)

Sky Atlas 2000.0 Deluxe EditionAssociate Editor JR writes: "Every amateur astronomer has a “go-to” atlas, and the laminated version of Sky Atlas 2000.0 is mine – it goes everywhere my scope goes. I prefer to use these high-contrast, black-and-white charts out in the field so I can keep my red light use to a minimum, and the large scale makes it easy to see where I am at a glance. The charts go to magnitude 8.5, which gives me enough signposts to find my way to pretty much any target I seek.

"The atlas’s laminated pages are designed to be durable and dew resistant, but that plastic coating offers another benefit: I can write directly on the smooth pages with white wax china marker, which makes it even easier to keep track during complicated star hops. A napkin cleans my scribbled notes right off.

"The atlas comes with a transparent sheet for assistance in gauging RA and Dec. More importantly, the sheet has a circle mimicking the field of view of a Telrad finder, making it even easier to match the eyepiece view to what’s on the page."

3. Moon & Mars Globes ($99.99 each)

Sky & Telescope's Mars GlobeHave you wanted to step foot on Mars since you were little? Do you gaze at the Moon through your telescope and marvel at its craters and maria?

Now you can hold these worlds in your hands, examining their details as photographed from orbit at high resolution. Find the rover landing sites, trace the path taken by Mark Watney in The Martian (yes, we've done that), or help make sense of the view you're seeing through your telescope.

These 12-inch globes make perfect additions to any study or observatory.

4. 2018 Calendar Bundle ($24.99)

2018 Calendar Bundle: Observing Calendar + Incredible Cosmos

Whether you keep one, keep both, or give them away as the perfect gifts for the observing and science enthusiasts in your life, this bundle provides a great value. The Observing Calendar serves as a handy reference for the observatory wall, while the Incredible Cosmos calendar gives a daily dose of cosmic perspective from your desk.

The Observing Calendar helps plan out your week — it reminds you of every major observing event of the year, gives almanac-like information on the visibility of the planets, and every month is accompanied by a beautiful image. The best part: a monthly sky scene tucked in the corner shows a clear at-a-glance guide to the naked-eye sky.

The Incredible Cosmos calendar provides a daily reminder of how literally awesome our universe is. Every day teaches you something, whether it's about the worlds of the Moon, Mars, and Titan; the nature of dark matter and dark energy; or how black holes work. And there's a treat every Friday: a full-color image from our strange and wonderful cosmos.

5. Binocular Highlights, 2nd Edition ($24.99)

Binocular Highlights, 2nd editionNews Editor Monica Young writes, "You know what they say: The best first telescope is a pair of binoculars. The reason? Binoculars give the beginner the chance to explore the night sky in more detail without losing yourself among the thousands of scattered stars. Even for the veteran observer, binoculars offer you a chance to discover jewels you might miss in the narrower fields of view that telescopes offer.

"Binocular Highlights, the second edition of a long-time favorite, will guide you to those celestial jewels. I find it easy to select targets for the night, as the book is conveniently divided by season, and easy-to-use charts guide me to each object. Author Gary Seronik fills out each entry with additional advice, such as what is ok to see from light-polluted skies (such as those of my backyard) and what is better seen from darker locations.

"On a related note, the book is compact enough that it becomes an easy carry-on — along with your binos — for any trip."

Make sure you take advantage of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!

For November 24 - 27:

  • Take 50% off store-wide (excludes non-discountables and globes)
  • Take 20% off Globes
  • Take an extra 10% off the Value Bundles category using code BFKITS10

For November 27 only:

  • Free Shipping store-wide with code: CYBERSHIP

Stocking Stuffers

These smaller and affordably priced products are incredibly useful — and beautiful — items for the astronomy enthusiast in your life.

  1. 15-cm Globes ($24.99 each) - Hold Earth, the Moon, and Mars in one hand — these picturesque globes depict our favorite worlds at a smaller (and more affordable) size.
  2. SkyWatch 2018 ($8.99) - Whether you're just starting out or an experienced observer, you'll find this year-long guide to the night sky indispensable.
  3. Skygazer's Almanac Wall Poster ($15.99) - This at-a-glance guide to the sky shows you what's happening tonight: when does the Sun set, when does the Moon rise, when are your favorite planets up. It even marks major events, such as occultations, meteor showers and eclipses.
  4. Planisphere ($15.95) - The perfect introduction to constellations all year round, created for night skies at latitudes 30°N, 40°N, 50°N, and 30°S.
  5. Messier Card ($6.95) - This 9x12-inch laminated quick-reference guide will come in handy for March Messier Marathons, or anytime you're looking for deep-sky inspiration.

Visit ShopatSky for more gift ideas!

All comments must follow the Sky & Telescope Terms of Use and will be moderated prior to posting. Please be civil in your comments. Sky & Telescope reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter’s username, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

COMMENT