Intergalactic Planetary, AKA International Astronomy Day
April 19, 2013
Look up at the sky and just think about this: beyond the shades of blue lies an incomprehensibly vast universe that we haven’t even begun to explore. Imagine what lies out there…. other life? Evidence of dark matter? Planet Funkotron (you mean Toejam and Earl might really exist??)? Seriously, though, it’s amazing to think that our world, beyond the one in our heads and even the one we physically exist in, matters so little when taken into account its place within the expanding universe that we actually know so little about. On April 20th, International Astronomy Day brings all that into focus with the setup of telescopes and other astronomical equipment outside of observatories to spark public interest in what lies beyond bills, work, and petty day-to-day worries. Astronomy Day also includes many displays of moon rocks, scale models of our solar system, and even a moon gravity simulator! Take a break from your routine, consider what lies beyond yourself, and appreciate how less complicated your life actually is! Or, if you just don’t have a chance to fit the universe into your schedule (geez, really?), try donning some galactic-inspired items to recognize the event and have a little fun while you’re at it!
What better way to celebrate Astronomy Day than with a Starpocket Star Viewer, a pocket-sized scope that finds stars and constellations based on a few turns of a dial. Using the date and time, the star finder locates particular celestial bodies in either the northern or southern hemisphere. The star scope even includes a red light for night vision– what use is a star finder in the daytime? Gaze and be mesmerized with one of the most popular constellations, Orion’s Belt, three stars in a row that can be seen with the naked eye:
In keeping with the size of the universe, you might want to pick up a large Glow in the Dark Constellation Map instead of a pocket-sized one. The star map features all the Zodiac constellations in a mesmerizing green glow along with personality traits for each sign (and in case you’re wondering, YES, Sagittarians are sexy beasts). Perfect for the aspiring astronomer or for placing side-by-side with a window, which would make it easy to match up your glow in the dark map with the night sky parallel to it.
Just can’t wait for a clear night to stargaze? Bring the night sky in with a Homestar Aurora Home Planetarium. This Japanese space projector uses three optical engines streaming from a dome smaller than a soccer ball to provide super spectacular Aurora lights, a starry sky, or a beautiful sunset. But it doesn’t just sit there like a crater on the moon; the home projector also features three soothing sounds– stream, crickets, and surf– for which to accompany your private viewing. There’s even a timer so you can sleep under the stars every night, and every night is a clear and peaceful night.
Maybe you don’t want to bring the universe in, but you still want to recognize Astronomy Day in some way. No worries, we’ve searched the worlds over and over for you and recommend the following space-age attire and accessories!
Speaking of constellations map, the Astronomy Tie is perhaps a more functional way to carry a star map if you just can’t miss a day of work for the world (or universe). Look professional while knowing how close Pisces is to the Big Dipper, or just use the constellation map to get yourself excited about the space festivities. Don’t think of it as geek wear: consider it “other-worldly,” which sounds way more sophisticated, we think.
5. Galaxy Pants
You might think Galaxy Pants is just slang for a big person, but it’s not– they actually exist. These print leggings feature all the stars and nebulas in their visual glory, colorful and mystic. Pair it with the Astronomy Tie above to be really “out there”. Get it?? Ha ha ha.
Travel through space-time back to medieval times with a Nocturnal Sundial Necklace. Before there were wrist watches, sundials were used to tell the time, and this one is no different: adjust the middle dial for the month while holding upside, find the North Star through the middle hole, turn the dial toward the highest stars of the Big Dipper, and blast off! You’ve got the time, medieval style.
It might not be a night vision camera, but the La Sardina Copernicus camera does equally well showing stars in that signature dreaminess that Lomography cameras are known for. A constellation map adorns the exterior of this 35mm wide angle camera, and the shape reminds of a camera that might have been used during a press conference for one of the Apollo missions, except this one is way more appropriate.
You didn’t become that astronaut you wanted to when you were younger, but at least you or a little one can sleep like one! Live vicariously through a Space Suit Duvet and let your sleep take you on space travels like you never thought possible! Think about it: we know that billions of galaxies exist besides ours– 200 billion, to be precise. Imagine exploring all this–
With a life-like duvet like that. (Yes, this is a real photo from the Hubble Space Telescope, and yes, every light speck there is a galaxy. Amazing, huh?)
If you really want to connect with those who’ve actually traveled outside our world and in space, try some astronaut food like freeze dried ice cream. Who cares if it’s the worst food known to mankind (and possibly even alien-kind), and who cares if it’s not really ice cream at all, but just a hardened cotton candy that doesn’t taste like ice cream. Astronauts, however, can snack on chips like Homer did in “Deep Space Homer”.
Whether you’re an astrogeek or not, Astonomy Day really is an incredible day for which to try to take in all that surrounds us all the time– which just works as a reminder that, in the end, the little things we fret over and that consume us really don’t matter. So pay a visit to a nearby observatory and take advantage of the free opportunities for viewing and interaction with space equipment (like Griffith Observatory outside of L.A.) and let yourself be amazed at what we’ve discovered thus far about our galaxy– and what we haven’t as well.