Away from the bright lights of the city on a clear summer night, mere mortals can look up at ancient constellations, five planets, and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite train. We rounded up the best companions for a night of stargazing, plus a few key items to loop the kids into an appreciation of the cosmos. This gear will help you unleash your inner Margherita Hack.
Celestron Starsense Explorer DX Refractor Telescope
Key Selling Point: An affordable scope that uses your smartphone to guide you to celestial objects.
Never again will you look up and say, “I think that one’s Betelgeuse.” Dock your smartphone into Celestron’s Starsense Explorer Refractor Telescope, and it’ll let you know what’s visible tonight. Pick something, then follow the on-screen arrows to point the telescope at exactly the right spot. The 102mm refractor lens is powerful enough to give crisp detail to moon craters and can even show you Saturn's rings and Jupiter’s larger moons.
"Astronomy with a Home Telescope"
Key Selling Point: A stargazing introduction that points you towards the 50 important night sky objects.
In clear terms and an inspiring voice, this trusty paperback will tell you when and how to get great views of planets, bright stars, distant galaxies, clusters, and nebulae. Covering telescope handling and crucial tips (let your eyes adjust to the dark!) “Astronomy with a Home Telescope” is a down-and-dirty, quick-start guide to stargazing.
Folding Zero Gravity Chair
Key Selling Point: Head-to-toe support with a weightless recline so you can gaze all night.
Before Netflix, we humans spent our nights gazing up at the drama of the skies. This fold-up recliner is super portable at just over 20 pounds and it even comes with a little tray to hold your drink and that star book we mentioned. Lean back to a balanced, zero-gravity position and watch Jupiter stalk Pisces for hours on end.
Educational Insights Geosafari Talking Telescope
Key Selling Point: An educational toy with images, facts, and quizzes that’ll inspire an interest in space.
Here’s how you get your kid excited about your next stargazing trip. With GeoSafari’s Talking Telescope, they can peer into the eye piece and dial through 24 built-in images of the cosmos while listening to facts about space read by the star of Netflix's “Emily's Wonder Lab.” Just be prepared to be shown up by your six-year-old next time you head out with the real telescope.
Key Selling Point: Brings a little celestial magic to any little kid’s bedroom in a play-ready tent.
Once you point up at the stars and tell your kid, “That’s Venus. It’s another planet,” there’s no going back. Get this play tent for your budding Neil deGrasse Tyson and you’ll be the genius who combined a fort with stars and spaceships. It stands 47 inches at its highest point and has closable flaps and enough room inside for a universe of imagination.
Rumpl Outdoor Foldable Blanket
Key Selling Point: The easy-carry handle makes this outdoor blanket endlessly portable.
Even if the clouds roll in on your next astronomy night, you can still enjoy the night in comfort with the Rumpl Outdoor Foldable Blanket. At 38 by 52 inches, it makes a nice basecamp for gazing heavenward and it folds up easily afterward. This down-alternative blanket is also water- and odor-resistant, and when head back home, you can toss it into the washer and dryer.
Planet Earth Handmade Wine Glasses
Key Selling Point: Handmade wine glasses from Rhode Island with an outer-space view of Earth.
The ancient Greeks were pretty good at both winemaking and astronomy. Coincidence? Let’s say no. These handmade wine glasses are inspired by our own planet — as it looks from space. Made by an accomplished glass artist in Rhode Island, these beauties hold 14 ounces of vino each and promise to make every star shine a little brighter.
If you ever want some perspective on the insignificance of your latest Zoom gaffe, just look up. All you need for a night of stargazing is a few supplies like these and a little distance from the bright city lights.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.