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Find The Perfect Gift For Your Favorite Astronomy Nut

Scott Gray
October 21, 2006

If you have an astronomy nerd, nut, or enthusiast on your gift-giving list, you are in luck when it comes to shopping.

If you have an astronomy nerd, nut, or enthusiast on your gift-giving list, you are in luck when it comes to shopping. There is a wealth of material at your fingertips when you turn to the web for your gift buying. In fact, if you have ever tried ordinary retail shopping for specialty hobby and interest items, you probably know better than to go down that unproductive path again. Buying online can save you money because of the many sale and wholesale and even used items offered by companies that don't have to inflate prices to cover the cost of their storefront operations. You also save time by viewing countless gift ideas and making your purchases from the comfort of your home. Credit card purchases online are secure from fraud and identity theft just look for the little padlock logo, and read about the protection for yourself.

Expect free or low cost delivery, 100% guarantees on your purchases, and no-hassle returns if you change your mind. Another option you have offered by most manufactures that will save you time is when you purchase your gift you can select another delivery address other than your own and have the gift show up at the persons door wrapped and ready to go.

Observation Instruments

Astronomy is the wonderful science of examining and learning about our universe, and the instruments of observation are telescopes and binoculars. Optical quality, durability and precision have improved drastically since the mid-twentieth century, and although telescopes remain the instrument of choice, high power binoculars are as powerful today as home telescopes were only a few short years ago. If you are purchasing a viewing instrument, consider a telescope first. For less money, binoculars will serve, and you can purchase wholesale binoculars with excellent magnification designed especially for viewing heavenly objects at night.

1. Zoom binoculars are ordinarily the most useful binoculars because they can be adjusted to a lot of different magnifications; however, this ability makes them less satisfactory for sky viewing because their many movable parts make it difficult to hold a clear image at high magnifications.
2. When considering, for example, 10 x 50 binoculars, the first number refers to the magnification (objects appear 10 times larger than with the naked eye) and describes the ocular lens which is closest to the eye. The second number is the objective size, or size of the lens at the far end. The larger the objective size, the more you see, and the heavier and bigger the binoculars will be. More numbers before the "x" ( e.g., 25/40 x 100) indicate multiple levels of magnification, which means a zoom lens. Wide-angled binoculars are best for sky viewing (e.g., 10 x 50).
3. Prisms are the blocks of glass which reflect light within the binoculars and enables them to produce effective magnification in a body shorter than that of a telescope. BAK4 prisms (barium crown glass) are the best quality.
4. Quality binoculars have coated ocular and objective lenses (described as "multi-coated"); the best binoculars are multi-coated on all glass surfaces (described as "fully multi-coated").
5. "Ruby coating" is merely a compensation for poor quality optics and should be avoided.
6. You should have a tripod for large binoculars when you are observing the sky.

1. Maps and guides are great.
* Star maps
* Telescope and binocular guides for beginners and advanced, child or adult
* Mini-flashlight with a red glow for night map reading
2. Books and magazines
* There are fiction books to entertain and non-fiction books to educate astronomers of every age. Subjects range from how a star, a supernova, or a black hole is formed, the impact and collision of asteroids and comets, NASA space exploration, Neil Armstrong's biography, the Shuttle Challenger disaster, Apollo 13, and more.
* Consider a magazine subscription to provide current news in the astronomy field.
3. Check out lists of popular space videos and DVDs, both fictional and documentary.
4. Games dealing with space exploration and astronomy are available for children, teens, and adults and can be used with Nintendo, Sony Playstation, GameBoy, etc.
5. Model rocket kits, shuttle kits, and toy planetariums or space puzzles will amuse and educate the amateur astronomer. There are space adventure toys for preschoolers.

Other Gifts
1. Shirts, neckties, T-shirts, hoodies, and tank tops are available for men, women, and kids.
2. Models range from expensive hand-carved mahogany shuttles to tiny space suite replicas.
3. Choose from calendars, posters, coffee mugs, beer steins, paperweights, tote bags, key chains, mouse pads, and teddy bears, or maybe an astronaut's autographed picture.

The Internet is your shopping mother lode for astronomy-related gifts. Credit cards can be used for Internet purchases as securely as in retail outlets, and you can find bargain prices. Save time and money by comparison shopping and ordering online for delivery to your door. It's the best deal in the galaxy.

About the Author
Scott Gray is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast who loves to provide useful information about the different types of binoculars including wholesale binoculars.

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