12 Space-Related Products for Astronomy Lovers

LEGO/The Unemployed Philosophers Guild/Amazon
LEGO/The Unemployed Philosophers Guild/Amazon

Have a few friends who are always looking up at the sky? Here are some gift ideas that celebrate the celestial bodies they know and love.

1. Moon Light Ball; $12

The whole moon can be lassoed out of space and brought near you. Give this 4-inch lunar light to anyone who needs a little illumination on their desk or in their closet.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Saturn Crystal Puzzle; $11

Take puzzles to another dimension with a 3D crystal model of Saturn. The jigsaw is made of 39 interlocking pieces that come together to form the shape of the ringed planet.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Glow in the Dark Constellation Map; $25

Skip the travel poster and go for something really out of this world. With the lights on, this nearly 29-inch poster shows the stars and constellations of the Northern Hemisphere. When you flip off the lights, the lines fade and the stars and Milky Way shine vibrantly.

Buy It: Amazon

4. Chart of Space Exploration; $40

This all-inclusive map from Pop Chart details the history of cosmic exploration by highlighting every orbiter, lander, rover, flyby, and impactor to ever enter space. In total, the chart features 100 exploratory instruments.

Buy It: Amazon

5. Ceramic Constellation Mugs; $16

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Heat Changing Constellation Mug
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild/Amazon

At first glance, this ceramic mug looks like a simple sketch of the night sky. But fill it up with a hot beverage and watch constellations like Cassiopeia, Perseus, Sagittarius, Andromeda, and more come to life in an array of colors. Alongside being microwave-safe, this mug allows anyone to go stargazing no matter the time of day.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Space Plates; $40

A great addition to any space-themed kitchen, the melamine plates feature watercolor designs of the eight planets (Sorry, Pluto!) that will make any entrée seem otherworldly.

Buy It: Amazon

7. NASA Lunch tin; $20

Best gifts for space geeks.
The Coop/Amazon

Just because you can’t travel to space doesn’t mean you still can’t feel like an astronaut. This NASA-approved lunchbox is modeled on the canisters used during the Apollo missions to transport film reels from the command module back to Houston. It comes with three stackable tins, which hold up to three cups of food, and a foldable handle for easy storage. It's the easiest way to bring some NASA charm to your office kitchen.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Finders Keepers Shirt; $20


BustedTees/Amazon

Here's a humorous shirt for patriotic friends and family. It features an astronaut on the moon with the triumphant words, "FINDERS KEEPERS." Obnoxious? Maybe. Funny? Always.

Buy It: Amazon

9. Virtual Reality Planetarium; $50

Give your loved one the gift of a planetarium that they can hold in their hands. The device has eight different modes and three hours of educational audio and is compatible with images of 150 different celestial objects, all taken by the Hubble Telescope.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Earth and Space: Photographs from the Archives of NASA; $28

Earth and Space: Photographs from the Archives of NASA
Chronicle Books/Amazon

With a preface written by Bill Nye the Science Guy, this book is perfect for any astronomy, science, and photography fan. Full of breathtaking photos from NASA’s archives, Earth and Space allows you to explore stars, the Jellyfish Nebula, Pandora's Cluster, and more from the comfort of your couch.

Buy It: Amazon

11. Solar System Bubble Bib Necklace; $55

Solar System necklace.
UncommonGoods

Scientists may have said that Pluto is no longer a planet, but this bib-style necklace featuring the planets in our solar system (along with the Sun) says otherwise. Handmade and full of color, this piece of jewelry allows you to carry the solar system around no matter where you go.

Buy It: UncommonGoods

12. LEGO Women of NASA; $25

LEGO Women of NASA Set.
LEGO/Amazon

Not only does this LEGO set include minifigures of Nancy Grace Roman (with the Hubble Space Telescope), Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride, and Mae Jemison (with the Challenger), but it also comes with a booklet to educate users on these four pioneering women who helped make NASA what it is today. At 231 pieces, it's not too overbearing of a build, but it might be the most enlightening. 

Buy It: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

These Atlases Map Out the Unique Histories of New York City, New Orleans, and San Francisco

University of California Press / Amazon
University of California Press / Amazon

When thinking of a map, your mind most likely pictures a seemingly unruly network of colorful lines showing roads and city limits. But what if a map could go beyond geography and show just what makes a particular place so unique? For over 10 years, author Rebecca Solnit has compiled three unique atlases of New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans, with each one giving readers a look at these distinct cities that goes far beyond tourist attractions and subway lines. Now, for the first time, you can buy all three atlases in a set at Barnes & Noble ($68) or Amazon ($51).

In Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, Solnit, along with artists, writers, and cartographers, created 22 colored maps of the city, with each one focusing on a different aspect of its character. For example, the "Poison/Palate" map displays the dichotomy between the artisan food shops and restaurants that exist alongside the toxic mines and chemical factories found in the Bay Area. The "Green Women" map, on the other hand, celebrates the women of the city that have fought for the environment. You can find the first of the series on Amazon for $21.

The second in the series is Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, written by Solnit and co-authored by Rebecca Snedeker, a native to New Orleans and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker (Witness: Katrina). Alongside 22 maps, this atlas features more than 20 essays written by musicians, prison activists, and many other local experts. Readers can see the aftermath of the BP spill in the “Oil and Water” map, while “A City in Time” allows viewers to see how New Orleans has been settled over a period of 300 years. Find this edition for $21 on Amazon.

Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas is the last in the series, and you can find it on Amazon for $22. Written by Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, a geographer and writer, this edition has 26 maps, highlighted by “City of Women.” At first glance, it looks like a typical subway map, but when you look closer, you’ll see the stop names have been replaced by those of women who have impacted the city in some way, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Dorothy Parker. If you buy the set, you'll receive an updated fold-out poster of this popular map, which includes more recent names like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alongside the many women that have shaped the Big Apple, readers can see a mapped-out version of the different languages spoken throughout Queens and much more.

The set also includes two other color fold-out posters of New Orleans and San Francisco and an essay by Solnit reflecting on this project.

Once you're done looking through these unique maps, check out some of the most important ones in history.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Wrap Yourself in the Sweet Smell of Bacon (or Coffee or Pine) With These Scented T-Shirts

adogslifephoto/iStock via Getty Images
adogslifephoto/iStock via Getty Images

At one point or another, you’ve probably used perfume, cologne, body spray, or another product meant to make you smell like a flower, food, or something else. But what if you could cut out the middleman and just purchase scented clothing?

Candy Couture California’s (CCC) answer to that is “You can!” The lifestyle brand offers a collection of graphic T-shirts featuring scents like bacon, coffee, pine tree, strawberry, and motor oil. If you have more traditional olfactory predilections, there are several options for you, too, including rose, lavender, and lemongrass. There’s even a signature Candy Couture California scent, which is an intoxicating blend of coconut, strawberry, and vanilla.

candy couture california bacon shirt
Candy Couture California

According to the website, CCC founder Sara Kissing came up with the idea in 2011 while working in the e-commerce fashion industry, and her personal experience with aromatherapy led her to investigate developing clothing that harnessed some of those same benefits. The T-shirts are created with scent-infused gel, which “gives off a delicate, mild smell—just enough to boost your mood.”

So you don’t have to worry about your bacon shirt making the whole office smell like a breakfast sandwich, but you yourself will definitely be able to enjoy its subtle, meaty aroma whenever you wear it. The shirts are also designed to match their scents—the chocolate shirt, for example, features chocolatey baked goods, while the coffee shirt displays steaming mugs of coffee.

candy couture california chocolate shirt
Candy Couture California

The fragrances don’t last forever, but they’ll stay strong through 15 to 20 washes before they start to fade. CCC recommends using unscented detergent so as not to conflict with the shirt’s aroma, and you can further prolong its life if you’re willing to wash it by hand.

Prices start at $79, and you can shop the full collection here.

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