We’re coming up to Christmas – sorry, there’s no escaping it now – and the TV adverts are *all* claiming that every CD, DVD and book is “the perfect gift for Christmas”. Well, if you’re gift-buying for someone with an interest in or passion for astronomy and space, here’s a suggestion for a genuine ‘perfect gift’- the 2014 “Year In Space” calendar, which has – as its cover proudly declares – been produced with the cooperation of The Planetary Society.
At this time of year there are lots of spacey calendars available; here in the UK – and it’s probably true elsewhere, too – micro-shops suddenly pop up in shopping centres and markets, crammed full of the things. There are “Moon Phase” type calendars, “Beautiful Universe” type calendars, “Our Solar System” type and “Fascinating Space Facts” type calendars and more. The perfect calendar would, of course, combine all these aspects of astronomy, right?
Right. And this is it. Or as close to it as you’re going to get.
Why? Well, everything about this calendar just screams class. It’s printed on beautiful, high quality, heavy glossy paper; it has perfect printing of its images which were obviously all chosen to look stunning; its pages feature side panels giving Space Facts; the calendar tables themselves are crammed with more facts, plus historic annivesary dates and useful “heads up” notes for sky-watchers too, as you can see from this pic of Chi – possibly drawn to the heat on this cold, cloudy Cumbrian day – carefully checking out the May spread, which focusses on the Sun…
One thing I really love about this calendar is the way it features short biogs of some of the scientists and researchers involved in astronomy and planetary exploration. Some I’d heard of, others were new to me, but it was lovely to meet them. Other biogs feature famous figures from the history of astronomy and space exploration.
Above: Chi turns away from the April spread, no doubt dismayed by the stunning image of the space shuttle, reminding her what a beautiful spacecraft it was…
This is a calendar which doesn’t actually feel like a calendar. It’s more like a really (really!) big, thin popular level science book which you can open up and then hang on your wall, because the quality of the writing is so good. In fact it’s so concise, detailed and clear I strongly suspect that The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla – who is listed in the credits, along with many others – had a lot of input there.
I don’t know what more I can say, to be honest. It’s just a brilliant, classy calendar which would look great on your wall, or your friend’s wall, or preferably both. 🙂
“The Year In Space 2014” Calendar
Link here: “Year in Space Calendar 2014”
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