12 Space-Related Products for Astronomy Lovers

iStock / Getty Images Plus
iStock / Getty Images Plus

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; $14

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.

Find 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.

Find 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.

Find 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.

Find It: Pop Chart

5. ASTRONAUT ICE CREAM; $6

We can't all be astronauts, but we can at least eat like them. Though the Neapolitan square was originally created for early Apollo Space Missions, it isn't eaten by modern astronauts today because of its crumbly nature. Still, it's a novelty snack worth trying. The ice cream is frozen at -40°F and vacuum dried, so it doesn't need to be kept in the freezer.

Find 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.

Find It: Amazon

7. PLANET BALL SOCKS; $2 Plus Shipping

At first glance, this looks like a plush toy of Earth, but once you unroll it, a pair of colorful socks emerges. The socks are no longer available on Amazon's U.S. site, but you can still find them on Amazon UK.

Find It: Amazon.co.uk

8. FINDERS KEEPERS SHIRT; $20

Here is a humorous shirt for patriotic friends and family. It features an astronaut on the moon with the triumphant words, "FINDERS KEEPERS." The shirts come in men's and women's, in sizes ranging from small to triple XL.

Find It: Busted Tees

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.

Find It: Amazon

10. MOON PHASE EARRINGS; $45

Perfect for both the science-inclined and the mystics in your life, these brass earrings show the phases of the moon covered by little dollops of glass.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

11. SOLAR SYSTEM WATCH; $9

As it's telling time, this watch certainly makes a statement. Lacking any numbers, the accessory has three working hands that dutifully move around the face of the watch.

Find It: Amazon

12. SUPERNOVA SKIRT; $15

Help your loved one show off their supernova "flare" with this skirt that features a faux-leather waistband and a vibrant design of a galaxy.

Find It: ModCloth

Update: This has sold out, but ModCloth also has similar space-themed leggings that are equally out-of-this-world.

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!

Unlock Every Flavor Note in Your Morning Coffee With This Elegant Hand-Blown Glass

AVENSI
AVENSI

Even if you can’t match every single glass with the specific type of alcohol you’re supposed to drink out of it, you can probably at least spot the difference between a wine glass, martini glass, Champagne flute, and beer stein. Why, then, in a society so enamored with coffee, do we not afford the same level of care toward our coffee cups?

The inventors behind the AVENSI coffee glassware line want to prove to you that drinking your morning bean juice out of any old mug or paper cup is drastically affecting the taste, aroma, and overall experience of coffee, though you might not realize it.

Avensi coffee glass
AVENSI

They’ve adjusted glass shape, wall curvature, thickness, lip flare, rim diameter, bowl-to-rim ratio, and volume to devise the ultimate hand-blown glass for enhancing coffee’s diverse flavor properties, which you can further unlock by swirling the coffee around your glass to aerate and oxidize it—just like you would with a nice pinot noir. The ultra-thin rim is 60 percent thinner than a regular coffee cup, so each sip will flow across your palate like a gentle wave, and the hybrid thermal wall will keep coffee at your desired temperature for much longer than your regular paper or porcelain container without burning your hands.

The AVENSI glasses were developed and tested by an impressive array of world champion coffee experts, scientists, roasters, shop owners, and sensory experts across more than 30 countries. But you definitely don’t have to have an extensive background in the art and science of coffee to appreciate the subtleties of drinking it; the AVENSI glass delivers the perfect experience, and all you need to do is trust your senses.

There are three versions of the 14-ounce glass—Vida, Senti, and Alto—each slightly varied in shape and pairing recommendations. The tulip-shaped Vida goes well with sweet, well-rounded, and chocolatey coffee, the Senti has a wide diameter that maximizes aroma and pairs best with nutty, earthy, and caramel beans, and the hourglass Alto is ideal for fruity light roasts.

You can start with two Vida glasses for $45 on Kickstarter, or check out other buying options here.

If you’re wondering what else you should be doing to maximize your coffee experience, don't drink it as soon as you wake up, and invest in a good grinder.

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!

This Alarm Clock Makes You Chase It Down to Get You Out of Bed

Clocky the Alarm, YouTube
Clocky the Alarm, YouTube

Even self-proclaimed morning people sometimes struggle to rouse themselves from the warm abyss of deep-stage sleep. This, of course, can result in a series of haphazard jabs at your snooze button until you’re really running late, or the universally dreaded failure to ever hear your alarm go off in the first place. Meet Clocky, the nightstand pet designed to rescue you from all of your alarm-clock issues and anxieties.

Clocky is a rambunctious, responsible alarm clock who will perform a number of irksome yet effective antics to get you up and at ’em. First of all, he’s very, very loud, so you’re sure to be jolted from even the most corpse-like slumber. Then, he’ll roll away from wherever you’ve left him, continuing to emit a variety of noises while you’re forced to chase him down in order to curtail the cacophony. He can survive a three-foot fall, so you can station him atop your nightstand, and he’ll bounce right down the stairs, too, if that’s what it takes to get you moving. (He won’t, however, brew your morning coffee for you … but this alarm clock will.)

Clocky the alarm clock
Amazon

You can customize the snooze settings based on your preferences. Clocky’s default is to have the snooze button disabled, meaning that he’ll zoom away as soon as the alarm goes off. If you’re a little more forgiving of your own “just five more minutes” habit, you can choose for Clocky to let you hit the snooze button once, twice, or more before he rolls away—and you can also set the length of time your snoozes will last.

Sometimes you really do deserve to flake on sunrise yoga and burrow farther into your covers for an extra hour or two, so feel free to disable Clocky’s runaway feature before mornings when you’re planning to play it by ear.

You can purchase Clocky for $40 from Amazon.

Wondering how people ever woke up on time without fancy gadgets like Clocky to help them? Find out here.

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!

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