Finding the Perfect Gift for an Astronomy Fanatic

The perfect gift to buy an astronomy fanatic depends on his or her experience and your budget. Gifts for astronomers range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. Finding the best present for the astronomer in your life should not be difficult though, if you take taste, competence and requirements into consideration, along with the price tag such gifts carry.


Possibly the most expensive gift an astronomer could receive that reflects their hobby is a telescope. A seasoned astronomer will already have their own ideas about the type of telescope they wish to own, however, a new astronomer may not have a preference.

When purchasing a telescope as a gift, consider its light reflecting ability. Many new astronomers buy a reflector telescope to begin with, before realizing that what they want is to be able to look into deep space rather than at the moon. A great choice of telescope for any astronomer would be one that combines the abilities of a reflector telescope and a refractor. This type of telescope is usually referred to as catadioptic.

Digital SLR camera

An SLR camera, otherwise known as a single lens reflex camera, is great for astronomers who want to engage in astrophotography. SLR cameras have removable lenses and digital sensors. Lenses can be taken off and replaced with an adaptor to make them usable with a telescope. The scope itself then acts as the camera lens and lets astronomers take great photographs.


An observatory does not need to be an expensive building. It could be a shed at the bottom of the garden. Receiving the gift of a shed might be perfect for an astronomer who wants somewhere cozy and quiet in which to observe the night sky. Astronomers can store equipment and books, and set up their computer to record observations in their own hideaway.

If you are considering buying a shed as a gift, consider how damp-proof it will be. Sheds are best raised slightly from the ground and insulated to keep the occupant and his or her equipment dry.


Astronomers can benefit from owning binoculars for times when carrying a telescope is impractical. When purchasing binoculars, consider the field of vision and magnification they allow as these factors are important when observing the sky.

Observing chair

An observation chair can prevent astronomers from getting backache and provide them with comfort. Considerations before making a purchase include a chair’s mobility, whether it can be height adjusted and is easy to carry and travel with. If a chair is not an option, astronomers may enjoy owning a ‘Starstep’, which is a combination between a useful step and a seat.

Deepsky software

At the time of writing this information, Deepsky software is good value for money at $49.99. Deepsky has been described as the ultimate software for astronomers and comes highly recommended by users. The software allows them to view nebula and galaxies. It also gives real-time information about comets, planets, the sun and moon amongst many other great features.

Small budget

Gift givers without much money to spend can still give astronomers useful presents. An iPhone application called Pocket Universe recently came onto the market. As it has the price tag of just $2.99 and can be downloaded on the Internet, it is an affordable gift that is easy to obtain.

The iPhone application Pocket Universe published by Craic Design, helps people learn about the night sky and produces a 3D image from the time and location given.

Other great gifts for astronomers include warm gloves. The best types are those that allow movement, so that astronomers do not have to take them off to change lenses. Warm scarves for chilly night sky observation and thermal liners for boots are also welcome gifts for astronomers who live in a cold climate. Other great gifts are flasks for hot beverages, flashlights to help see when setting up telescopes, and rucksacks to hold lenses and other pieces of equipment.

Finding the perfect gift for an astronomy fanatic should be fun, allowing you to give a wonderful gift that fits your budget. There are plenty of choices available from interactive learning games for new astronomers, to high tech pieces of specialized equipment.