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Holiday gifts for star gazing dads

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 03-11-2008

Astronomy and star-gazing has always been a great dad and child experience. Nothing beats lying on the grass on a warm August evening staring up in the sky and conveying the majesty and mystery of the heavens to a small child. This is a completely free activity, there are also plenty of accessories around if you’re so inclined. Here are a few of our favorites this year:

Moon in my room – $39 – This light up moon hangs on your wall and shows the moon in 12 different settings, controlled by an infrared remote control. An audio CD tells more about the moon.

Planisphere watch – $59.95 – This watch glows in the dark for 2-3 hours. It’s a great present for the astronomy geek who always wants to take advantage of a dark night sky. The watch shows northern constellations only.

Celestron Skyscout – $199 (50% cheaper than in 2007) – The Skyscout uses GPS to ID and 8000 starts and planets and then will even tell you about via audio or text. All the astronomer has to do is point this gadget into the night sky and it actually finds constellations for you. As one reviewer on Amazon says, “This is the astronomy device I’ve been waiting for all my life.”

4. Orion Star Target Planisphere ” target=”_blank”>Orion Star Target Planishere – $11.00 – This stargazing the old fashioned way, with a map of the heavens you hold up in the night sky. You’ll also need a red flashlight to read the map in the dark.

Barska Travel Telescope – 59.95 – Savings priced telescope for aspiring astronomers with 300X magnification and a 5×24 finder scope. Don’t expect the world, but this is a good intro telescope. Minor to major inconvenience is the table level telescope. It’s perfect for setting up on a picnic table and taking turns looking from there, but impossible to use at ground level.

Happy stargazing!