Obtain this great calendar from the Vatican Observatory Foundation!
And a one-off idea becomes an institution. By now, you’ve no doubt come to rely on us here at Astroguyz for our handy yearly review of Astronomy Calendars. As Black Friday descends across the face of the planet & dazed zombie-like shoppers are lumbering through the Malls looking for that perfect gift, you’ll know just what to buy for that astronomical someone. Fans of this space will remember our epic reviews of astronomy-themed calendars in 2012 & 2011…
No? Well, let us tell ya, astronomers love calendars. A good calendar will show you “what’s up” in the sky season-by-season as well as notable astronomical events and date relevant trivia. Said calendar would also be relevant for those families that may plan their lives around all that is astronomical.
Anyhow, our favorite picks for 2013 are;
The Official Calendar of the Vatican Observatory: Few folks know that the Vatican operates observatories worldwide, and fewer know that they produce a first rate calendar. The calendar is part of the membership package along with a minimum contribution of 25$ US, which goes to fund scientific research. What I really like about the Vatican Calendars is the use of photos of the night sky taken by amateur astronomers. The history of the VATT Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope is also outlined; thanks to the VATT, we know the characterization of trans-Neptunian objects, have detected trace amounts of ammonia on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and studied dark matter candidates known as MACHOs & much, much more. Not bad!
NASA’s 2013 Calendar: Fans of this space will also know that the Kennedy Space Center on the Florida Space Coast is our Graceland to which we must always eventually return. This year’s 2013 calendar celebrates the end of an era as the space shuttles have retired to their respective museum locations nationwide and the U.S. space program gears up for the MPCV/Orion program and ventures beyond low-Earth orbit. What I like about the NASA calendar is how it is perhaps the only space calendar that commemorates key dates in space flight history, a must for any space enthusiast/aviation buff. The 2-page spread of Human Spaceflight Patches covering Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and the shuttle program alone is worth the price of the calendar!
Deep Space Mysteries 2013: Published by Astronomy Magazine, this calendar is a must for the serious or even casual sky enthusiast. Wanna know when the next lunar/solar eclipse is, or the date of the next meteor shower? Deep Space Mysteries has ‘em all listed, in a keen no-frills format. As a matter of fact, I would say that’s our favorite selling point of the calendar is its use as a good quick reference. This would also make a fine companion with an online subscription to Astronomy Magazine… we love ours!
One more: Discover Magazine’s Wonders of Science 2013: You can never have too many shots of far-out wildlife or cutting edge particle accelerators on your wall, right? Wonders of Science would make an excellent addition to any science classroom, laboratory, or basement science blogging bat-cave. Included are factoids such as “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Time…” but ya gotta buy it to read it!
So hang one of these fine calendars on your office/ classroom/ observatory wall in this coming year; if nothing else, it will be reassurance that the world isn’t ending next month, but that 2013 will be another exciting year in astronomy!