So, last year I compiled a top 10 list of the best Space/Astronomy gifts which you can view by clicking here. I was so looking forward to receiving my Sheldon bobble head but it looks like those close to me did not take the hint! So this year I have compiled another top 10 list. Perhaps Santa will get me something on this list in December, if I have been good of course! So let the countdown begin…..
10 – A Trip on Virgin Galactic
It’s back on my list, so all I need to do is find a sponsor! Richard Branson is confident that the flights will begin in 2014. Already signed up and on board are Leonardo Di Caprio, Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry and Tom Hanks to name but a few. Any Justin Bieber fans out there? Justin has signed up to go to space as well! If it’s good enough for Bieber then it’s good enough for me.
9 – Constellation Mug
Having a coffee and learning at the same time! What more could you want? You will have stars in your eyes with this perfect stocking filler for your space fan, astronomer or scientist. It shows stars when the cup is cold, but add in some hot water and the constellation patterns suddenly appear like magic! Eleven constellations are visible on the mug; Cassiopeia, Perseus, Sagittarius, Hercules, Andromeda, Scorpius, Taurus, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Orion, Castor and Pollux. This mug would be great when going out stargazing with a big serving of hot chocolate, or would make a nice little “Secret Santa” present for any of my colleagues here at Armagh Planetarium!
8- Newton’s Cradle
I am a huge Superman fan, ever since I was a little girl. I am from the Christopher Reeves generation and in particular Superman 2 is my favourite from the franchise. It captured the imagination of a youngster! One of the scenes which stands out in my mind is when Non, played by Jack O’Halloran, is in the White House and is playing with the Newton’s Cradle. So here it is at Number 8! Get your own Newton’s cradle for Christmas and test out some laws of Physics.
7 – You’re a Star Gift Box at Lush
Are you looking for an astronomy themed present for your wife, mother, daughter or niece? Well look no further! Here is the perfect gift which combines beauty products and astronomy; it’s the Lush “You’re a Star” gift box. Containing bath bombs, body lotion, hand lotion and massage bars to name just a few of the products, this set will impress the receiver. Make your way to www.lush.co.uk to purchase your set. If Lush want to send me a little sample to try out – I won’t say no!
6 – Zero Gravity Fridge Magnet
This is just too cool… a Moon Buggy magnet that moves up and down the fridge. Just wind up your buggy, set the wheels on your fridge door and away it goes! I don’t want to give-away the secret of how the Buggy defies gravity but it is suffice to say that you will need a metal door. This is a must-have stocking filler for 2013, and the great thing is that you can purchase one when you come to visit Armagh Planetarium. It is something the children will love (and secretly the adults will too).
5 – Big Bang Theory T-Shirts
So, I didn’t get my Sheldon Bobble-head from last year’s gift list, but in the words of William Hickson, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”. So this year I have two Big Bang Theory T-Shirts on my list, surely I will get one! Sheldon inspired the men’s T-shirt with his famous Bazinga™ saying on the front. The ladies T-shirt has his famous song “Soft Kitty” on the front. I bet after you read this that “Soft Kitty” will be hard to get out of your head!
4 – Space Shuttle Lego set
The Space Shuttles may have been sent into retirement, but you can own your own shuttle with this Space Shuttle Lego set. I loved getting Lego sets as a child, I had speedboats and houses and aeroplanes all made from Lego. In fact I would constantly be letting a yelp out of me when I accidentally stood on a piece that had found its way onto the floor!
This Space Shuttle Lego set looks absolutely amazing. With 1230 pieces and the finished article standing 17.5 inches tall there is a lot of fun to be had with this set. This set comes with male and female astronaut minifigure, as well as a service crew member. The service crew member also has his own ground maintenance vehicle which you can build. The set also boasts a detachable fuel tank, rockets boosters, launch pad and a satellite with unfolding antenna and solar panels.
3– Planet Cosmo DVD
Planet Cosmo is a new cartoon show introducing children to the amazing planets of the Solar System. Follow Cosmo and her family who live on the Moon and travel around visiting other planets in search of materials for Mum, who is a Scientist back on Moonbase. During each adventure, Cosmo explores one of the eight planets of our Solar System revealing something amazing about them. With catchy fun songs about each planet, the world of astronomy will open up to children like never before.
Financed and fully produced in Ireland, the series was aired on RTE earlier this year and is now available to purchase on DVD. Armagh Planetarium is pleased to stock these fun, yet educational DVD’s. I had a little girl test out the DVD for me and it got a massive thumbs up!
2 – Metal Detector
Wouldn’t it be cool to find a rock from Outer Space? There is a thrill to meteorite hunting as shows such as “Meteorite Men” have helped inspire many people into the hobby. There is also a chance you could find a Martian or Lunar Meteorite which would be amazing. Now, the thing to remember is that the value of a meteorite can differ. There are many factors to be considered such as rarity, size, and condition. I suppose you could think of them like old coins or jewels. You could even find some other interesting objects with a metal detector, but if you do find something that looks like a meteorite then you can always bring it to us at the Planetarium to see if we can identify it. Our information page on meteorites could be useful to have a look at, which you can access by clicking here.
1 – Ticket to Armagh Planetarium
It was at number 3 last year, but this year a ticket to Armagh Planetarium has hit the top spot! Our digital theatre shows are amazing (If I do say so myself); you can take a tour of the night sky, watch a rover land on Mars or even go on a journey with the Little Yellow Star in our pre-school show. If you are coming in December you can even catch our special Christmas show called “Mystery of the Christmas Star”. In our exhibition area you can touch a real space rock at 4.5 billion years old and read about the Solar System and beyond. If you love all things astronomy then our evening open nights could be for you. If the skies are clear we bring out telescopes and you can enjoy the wonders of our Solar System. Keep an eye on our website for dates on those. Visit www.armaghplanet.com for more details on shows and events.
(Article by Sinead McNicholl, Education Support Officer)