If you have a teenager interested in Astronomy then you have a lot of different gift options. Some times it can be hard to choose from all the great gifts out there. It can also be hard to find the right gift for a teen. Some of the gifts available are for beginners, but are marketed for kids. I have created a list of top Christmas 2007 Astronomy gift ideas for teens.
1) Telescopes, Binoculars, and Accessories:
Telescope, Explorer. This handheld telescope is for beginners. Just pick it up, sight an object, push/pull the focus tube and enjoy bright, clear images of far-off places. Durable plastic telescope magnifies objects 30X. Objective lens is 30mm. This is $12.95 at www.hometrainingtools.com.
Observer 70mm Refractor Telescope. This is a great refractor telescope that is very portable and has an easy-to-use yet sturdy Altazimuth mount. It provides an upright image and can be used for both terrestrial and celestial viewing. This 70mm f/10 telescope has a light grasp of 5.9 square inches, 100 times the light of the unaided human eye and 36% more light than a 60mm reflector telescope. More light means you will see more stars and galaxies and greater detail of the moon and planets. This telescope is $129.00 at www.hometrainingtools.com.
Telescope Digital Photo Adapter. This lets you attach a digital camera to most telescopes and spotting scopes and take digital photos. This is $19.95 at www.physlink.com.
Astro Pack. This pack is a great tool for the beginning astronomy hobbyist. It includes a planisphere that shows the positions of the stars and constellations for any hour in the year; a book on how to choose, set up, and use a telescope; a month-by-month guide to the night sky; and a star chart that contains detailed comprehensive maps of the heavens. This is $21.95 at www.hometrainingtools.com.
Backyard Stars Guide. This fold-out guide is used to identify the stars from your own backyard on any reasonably clear night, year-round. The stars identified in this guide are those easily seen without binoculars or a telescope. Includes charts for each season and for the moon. This is $4.95 at www.hometrainingtools.com.
2) Gift Certificates:
You can always pick up gift cards so that they can pick out what they want. However the best gift card is the Slooh 50 min Telescope Card. This is a pre-paid card gives them 50 minutes spectacular deep space objects streamed real-time live to your computer from powerful telescopes located high on a mountain off the coast of Africa. This is $9.95 at www.physlink.com.
3) Books, Maps, software and Calendars:
A subscription to “Astronomy”. “Astronomy” is the top astronomy magazine. Here is the web site www.astronomy.com to get the subscription.
“What's Out Tonight?” This is a 50 Year Astronomy Field Guide 2000 to 2050 (Paperback). “What's Out Tonight?” is a popular celestial almanac and astronomy field guide provides the enthusiast, beginner or the seasoned amateur with a snapshot of the heavens until 2050. There are star charts of the entire sky as well as tables indicating the Planets that are out, the phase of the Moon, meteor showers and more. At a glance you will know what is happening in the night sky for 50 years. This book is $39.95 at www.iglou.com.
Star Pocket. This is an accurate pocket size star finder to identify 70 constellations and 42 main stars. This kit includes 2 star maps, one for each hemisphere, 4 latitude attachments, built-in compass, protective sleeve, and an instruction booklet. It is $29.95 at www.physlink.com.
Starry Night Enthusiast Astronomy Software. This software provides a comprehensive astronomy course. The 3D graphics will take you on a journey from the stars visible in your backyard to distant galaxies deep in space. You can also view live images from special observation equipment via the Internet, keep track of upcoming events, create videos and files to easily view an event again later and read detailed information about each of the 2.5 million celestial objects. This software is $79.95 at www.hometrainingtools.com.
Hubble Picture CD. This feature packed CD-ROM that works on both PC and Mac computers includes 450+ pictures & captions, educational text of a full paragraph on each image, screen saver with 20 Hubble images to enhance your screen. Image Browser software allows you to easily review the photos, search & read detailed captions or print the catalog for handy reference. Also includes drag and drop features for publishing programs. This CD is $14.95 at www.physlink.com.
Deep Space iCD. This CD is filled with hundreds of images and amazing facts; this multi-media program lets you explore space with the very best images from the Hubble Space Telescope. This CD features a complete collection of Hubble images from the Space Telescope Science Institute's, plus 32 superb earth-based astronomical photographs. This is $19.95 at www.physlink.com.
Calendars with night skies or even pictures from space can be found almost any place. Some of them will even have reminders of important viewing events and historical date for astronomy. Calendars can make great gifts.
The Mysteries of the Cosmos DVD Set. Explore some of the greatest mysteries in the Universe. From the Big Bang to the Hubble telescope, this stunning collection brings you up close and personal to the mysteries and wonders of space. Learn about current research being performed by the greatest minds in space exploration. Witness stunning animation, actual satellite photography and archival NASA footage that bring the farthest reaches of the Universe. This DVD set is $29.95 at http://shopping.discovery.com.
The Stars DVD Set. This set has three star DVD’s:
“Death Star”, Learn how these violet explosions could have the power to eradicate life in an entire galaxy.
“Death of a Star”, Experience one of the most violent celestial events since the creation of the universe.
“Runaway Universe”, Join a dramatic quest to unlock the secrets of the universe, including the mysterious "dark energy."
This set is $39.95 at http://shopping.discovery.com.
5) Models and posters:
Motorized Solar System Mobile Kit. This solar system stretches a massive 42 inches in diameter, and is completely remote controlled. The kit mounts to the ceiling of any room and contains an audio tour CD that teaches about the planets. As a bonus, the remote control provided contains a built-in laser pointer for comets and swooshing shooting stars. This kit is $39.95 at www.physlink.com.
Map Of The Sky Poster. Both north and south night skies are included in this poster plus star data. Star data included: magnitude, surface temperature, zodiac constelations, etc. Poster size: 38.5in x 26.75in. This poster is $9.95 at www.physlink.com.
The Solar Flare and Earths Magnetosphere Poster is a great new poster that allows you to view these two amazing subjects. It is an awesome poster. The poster is $9.95 at www.physlink.com.
6) Home Planetariums:
Home Planetarium. This Space Theater home planetarium projects star positions as white points of light onto any wall or ceiling. Positions are accurate for each day of the year. The home planetarium includes five changeable constellation masks that show 5-7 constellations for each season plus circum-polar (unsetting northern) stars. This is $27.95 at www.hometrainingtools.com.
The MONOPOLY: Night Sky Edition brings the wonders of the universe right into your living room. Move around the game board as you purchase comets, planets, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies and build observatories. Comes with six custom pewter tokens (Meade telescope, Hubble space telescope, binoculars, radio dish, observatory, Mars Rover) and custom dice. Mars and Moon cards replace classic Chance and Community Chest cards, respectively. Read all about the different wonders featured on the game board. This game is $34.95 at http://scientificsonline.com.
AristoPlay Mars 2020 game - A race to Mars. It's a race to Mars in the year 2020. This game is for 2-6 players and has over 550 space travel and astronomy questions, endorsed by Jack Lousma, U.S. Astronaut. This is actually a fun game to play. Each player is an astronaut. Astronauts choose a spaceship and a crewmember and try to land on Mars first. This game is $31.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
Cogno Deep Worlds Game. This game is for 2 to 6 players and takes 30-50 minutes to play. Pick your favourite alien game piece. Be the first to collect three fuel cells by answering science questions about space and the universe. Avoid the Alien Whirlpool, Deep Trench, and survive the DiveZones, using strategy to race others safely back to the beach. Leave the main board and enter the Parallel Universe where anything can happen. You might get lucky and suck another player in. And use your greatest weapon wisely - the Time Machine Token. This game is $28.95 at www.sciencestoreforthestars.com.
8) Novelty items and just fun astronomy gifts:
Astrolabe Kit. Use this handy device to determine the declination and azimuth of any star or celestial body. Astrolabes have been used in navigation for more than 2000 years, although their heyday was during the explorations of the 1400-1500s. Instructions are printed right on the plastic body. This is $13.50 at www.hometrainingtools.com.
T-shirts, hats, cups, posters and a clock are all available with wonderful pictures taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the Cat's Eye Nebula or The Spirograph Nebula, and many other wonderful pictures. These are unbelievably cool and can be found at www.spacemartgifts.com.
“You Are Here” is a 100% cotton heavyweight t-shirt black. On the front, a view of the Milky Way galaxy with a sign that reads "You are Here" pointing in the general direction of Earth. $16.99 www.thinkgeek.com.
Solar System Ruler. This beautifully built 12-inch ruler is transparent plastic and on its front position are mesmerizing illustrations and diameter/temperature measurements of the sun, the 9 planets and asteroids. The ruler is $2.95 at www.physlink.com.
Galilea Moon Phase Clock. This lunar phase clock shows the current Moon phase, the time and date. Galilea's revolutionary design precisely reproduces the daily evolution of the moon phases during it's 29.5 day cycle. This clock is $69.95 at www.physlink.com/estore.
9) A Vacation Plan:
If you live in a city it can be hard to see the stars. Plan a vacation some place that is “dark”. There are also quite a few places that will give unusual sites like the Northern Lights in Alaska. Take the time to look around and see what you can do with your family budget. It does not have to be expensive or a faraway vacation. It does not even have to be longer then one night. A teenager who enjoys astronomy would love to go out into the country and spend the night looking at stars they cannot see at home.
Written by: Lori-Lee Craig