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!

The New York Times's Latest Book on Travel Will Help You Plan the Perfect Weekend Getaway

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

Getting a full sense of a new city while traveling can be tough—especially if you only have a weekend to explore it. But since 2002, The New York Times’s "36 Hours" column has been breaking down destinations all over the world into bite-size pieces, allowing travelers to see the big attractions while still experiencing the city like a local. Now, you can get the best of the column's North American destinations with the fully updated and revised edition of 36 Hours: USA & Canada for $40 at TASCHEN or on Amazon.

Even if you have the original, it’s worth purchasing this updated copy, as this version features 33 new itineraries from Anchorage, Alaska; the Berkshires in Massachusetts; Boulder, Colorado; Miami; Oakland, California; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and many more.

36 Hours: USA & Canda from the New York Times
TASCHEN

The 752-page book also offers more than 5400 hours of travel itineraries, 600 restaurants to dine at, and 450 hotel options. Each city featured includes a brief history, a list of popular destinations, and tips on how to experience it all like a local. For example, the New Orleans guide encourages travelers to start at the French 75 Bar for happy hour and order a Sazerac, a cocktail close to an Old-Fashioned that's a local favorite. Whereas the Miami guide takes you to the Buena Vista Deli, a bistro known for its take on classic French dishes. The travel book also features detailed city maps that pinpoint all the stops, and it's accompanied by nearly 1000 photographs.

Once you've picked your destination, check out some tips on how to craft the perfect itinerary.

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!

9 Brilliant Gifts for the Gardener in Your Life

AeroGarden/Amazon
AeroGarden/Amazon

A proven method of relaxation, gardening can ease the stresses of daily life and provide a rich resource for giving homes a unique and colorful identity. If you know someone with a green thumb, consider these nine gift ideas sure to plant a seed of gratitude.

1. Succulent Gardens Living Picture DIY Kit; $105

Succulent planter DIY kit
Amazon

Vertical gardening is a conversation-starter, and you can help a friend ignite one with this do-it-yourself kit. The redwood frame uses a thin layer of mesh to keep succulent plants—included in the kit—hanging in there.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Burgon & Ball Coated Galvanized Steel Long Reach Indoor Watering Can; $46

Watering can
Uncommon Goods

Sure, your loved ones could use an empty jug to water their plants—if they enjoy drowning the greenery. But this watering can has a slender spout that prevents the needless mess that cans with wider openings can make. Plus, that longer spout makes it easy to get water to those hard-to-reach plants you may have hanging indoors.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller; $115

If you know someone looking to seize more control over their sprinkler system to help conserve water, the Rachio system is the one to beat. The module can replace virtually any existing central command center, connecting to the Rachio app and allowing for on-the-go control of the timer. Rachio will even sync the system to weather forecasts, easing up when it’s expected to rain.

Buy It: Amazon

4. Gardener’s Tool Seat; $36

Foldable for storage, this seat cures two of gardening’s most annoying demands: not having a place to sit and not having the right tool within reach. A small stool saves wear on the knees, while 21 pockets and a large pouch under the seat offer room for any implement you need.

Buy It: UncommonGoods

5. "The Taxonomy of Fruits & Vegetables" Poster; $40

This sprawling 24-inch-by-36-inch guide, detailing more than 300 varieties of produce, can be hung on a kitchen wall for easy reference. Your giftee will never again have to guess how a cantaloupe or mangosteen is related to other fruits and vegetables.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Aerogarden Harvest Elite 360; $130

the indoor AeroGarden
AeroGarden / Amazon

If you know someone who wants to keep a supply of fresh herbs for the kitchen but gets lost in the details, AeroGarden's indoor growing system is a perfect solution. The soil-free bed can grow basil, parsley, dill, and other seasonings using a fool-proof on-board display that offers care instructions in real time.

Buy It: Amazon

7. Hanging Terrariums; $13

This set includes two glass plant homes plus rustic jute rope for hanging them from the ceiling or window frame. And the flat bottom also allows them to sit on desk. Your giftee will need to supply the plants and other decor—may we suggest a couple of Tillandsia, a.k.a. air plants? They can thrive with almost no water or soil, making them ideal for these petite orbs.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Bokashi Kitchen Composter; $55

If making compost from food scraps sounds unappealing, it’s probably because you haven’t come across the right tool for the job yet. This Bokashi-style composter fits neatly under a kitchen sink and accepts food waste to mix with an all natural accelerator to create topsoil for gardens. The airproof lid guarantees no funky smell; the included spigot can also produce liquid fertilizer for houseplants.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

9. Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Work And Gardening Gloves; $10

The biggest inconvenience of gardening: trying to scrub the dirt off your hands. The second-biggest: dealing with the sweat produced by rubber-coated gloves. Solution: bamboo, which allows the gloves to breathe, is naturally antibacterial, and ensures a snug fit.

Buy It: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we 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!

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