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Star mapping is nearly as old as stargazing itself, but celestial maps are trendier than ever before. By definition, a celestial map is a key to the stars traditionally used to help astronomers see constellations and galaxies. But these days it's common to find vintage maps or artist replicas framed as home decor. Whether you’re hunting for a special piece of art to hang above your couch or you're looking for a personalized gift to commemorate a couple’s new marriage, a celestial map is a great way to bring the beauty of the night sky inside.
We love incorporating celestial maps into home decor or using them as gifts because they have such a rich, beautiful history that speaks volumes. Even if you're not into astronomy, you'll appreciate these gorgeous maps of the sky.
Best Personalized: SeventyEightDesign Custom Star Map
Looking for a unique wedding gift or anniversary gift? The SeventyEightDesign Custom Star Map is a totally customizable digital file that commemorates the big day by looking to the stars. The map uses mathematical algorithms to locate the stars’ positions on a precise day, time and location and presents you with a representation of the night sky during a special moment. It comes in 8.3 inches by 11.7 inches or 11.7 inches by 16.5 inches and is printed on high-quality lustre paper.
Owners say the prints they received are just as beautiful as the photos and note that the seller is a breeze to work with. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect personalized gift for the star lover in your life, this print is sure to delight.
Best Poster: Capricorn Press Blue Constellations Map and Star Chart
The Capricorn Press Star Chart is a stunning print that will look beautiful in any home. This large print is based on an antique constellation map from 1849 and is sure to be a conversation piece when it’s hanging on your wall. It comes in four rich colors (but we are partial to the navy blue) and six sizes ranging from 12 inches by 24 inches to 30 inches by 60 inches, so you can find the perfect fit for your space. The print is made with archival ink on heavyweight, 100-percent cotton paper. The map is organized by month and shows the stars’ alignment at midnight during each part of the year. As a tip, just be sure to buy a frame to keep the print in pristine condition.
Best High End: LegendCo Vintage Map
If you’re on the hunt for a celestial map that will blow the rest of your home decor away, the LegendCo Vintage Map is the one. This stunning Mercator map is a reprint of a vintage piece, and whether you’re an astronomy lover or not, you’ll love the gorgeous detail in every corner. It’s printed with semi-matte ink on thick art paper and comes in seven sizes. But if you want to go big, you can buy it in three or four panels, breaking it up and adding contrast to your walls.
For a captivating piece of art that will look great in your home for years to come, this map from LegendCo is the perfect choice. Reviewers say it is well-made and striking, and one offers a good tip: waiting until you receive the print to buy a frame to ensure a perfect fit.
Best Lighting : Pottery Barn Kids Constellation Table Nightlight
There's nothing like sleeping under the stars but if you can't make it outdoors, this nightlight is the next best thing. The light has a navy blue shade that features a constellation map, so you can have sweet dreams of the stars above.
The lightweight nightlight features a 51-inch cord, so it's easy to plug in no matter where the nightstand is located. And although it creates a subtle, warm glow in space, there's an easy-to-use on/off switch for when you don't need it.
Best Mug: The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Heat Changing Constellation Mug
If you’re looking for a gift for the stargazer in your life, check out the The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Heat Changing Constellation Mug. This fun 10-ounce ceramic mug is heat-activated, Illuminating constellations when you pour in a hot beverage. Eleven different constellations, like Cassiopeia and Perseus, come to life as you get your daily caffeine fix. One thing to keep in mind: Due to the delicate design, it cannot be put in the dishwasher. The design may accidentally wipe away if you’re not careful, but we think it’s sure to become a favorite in your weekly coffee rotation.
Best for an Empty Wall: Opalhouse Celestial Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Want to bring your love of the universe into your home in a big way? The Devine Color Celestial Peel and Stick Wallpaper packs a big punch and offers the perfect way for any astronomy lover to fill a large, blank wall. With a navy background and metallic, gold-star pattern, the wallpaper measures 198 inches by 20.5 inches and can be cut to size and combined to fit your space perfectly. The galaxy-inspired print is ideal for an accent wall or a DIY coffee table and is easy to remove without damage.
Owners love the Devine Color Wallpaper, stating that with two people and a little patience, it’s easy to install. Just avoiding sticking it to any textured surfaces to avoid damage.
Best Glassware : Wrought Studio™ Zodiac Sign Constellation 12 oz. Whiskey Glass
Astrology fans will appreciate these glasses, which make it easy to combine your love of stars with your favorite cocktail. The set includes four whiskey glasses, each of which features an astrology sign and accompanying star map etched on the glass.
Though the glasses feature one sign per set, they're budget-friendly so you can get a few and mix-and-match the signs. And, if you're concerned about the design getting ruined over time, don't stress—the glasses are dishwasher-safe, so they'll stay in good shape.
Best Jewelry: Sterling Forever Women’s Zodiac Necklace
Whether you’re a Capricorn or a Gemini, wear your astrological sign close to your heart with this Sterling Forever Women’s Zodiac Necklace. A thoughtful and unique gift for the lady in your life, this gold-plated necklace features a cubic zirconia replication of each astrological sign. Available in all 12 constellations, this necklace is subtle and delicate enough to wear every day. It has a 16-inch chain with a 2-inch extender, so it’s easy to find the perfect fit. The best part? The company offers a lifetime guarantee and promises to replace any damaged item for the rest of its life.
All in all, the Sterling Forever necklace makes a great gift choice — even the non-Zodiac-obsessed will adore this subtle and unique piece of jewelry.
What to Look for in a Celestial Map
Celestial maps are varied in their appearance and style. There are plenty of minimalistic star maps as well as options with thousands of stars printed. Some are simply an image of the night sky while others have chart lines and label constellations, planets, and stars. Figure out which details matter and the style that’s most fitting for you or the recipient of the celestial map. The colors and frames can also be customized for prints and posters.
Celestial Map Material or Medium
Posters are a popular medium for celestial maps and can be framed or displayed using poster hangers. But, the formats of celestial maps go beyond printed paper. Lamps, throw blankets, wallpaper, jewelry, and tapestries can be found, too. Currently, posters and tapestries are the most readily available options for maps with a personalized date.
Accurate Date and Time
Companies that create special maps centered on a particular date and time use technology to generate the proper image. To ensure the print accurately reflects the sky at that time period, double check any dates and times you input. There are also premade maps for certain dates or general maps of the night sky for buyers simply searching for a space-inspired piece of decor.
How are star maps created?
Websites can calculate where the stars were in the sky at a particular date and time. This draws on information from practices that go back to ancient times. Fortunately, math and science are much quicker nowadays, and there are databases and programs that make it easy to compute. There are no numbers necessary on your part aside from the date (and occasionally time).
How do I personalize a celestial map?
The easiest way to personalize your own celestial map is to print it through a company that already has a system set up for finding the right positioning of the night sky on that date. There are a handful of websites that do this now, and it only takes a few minutes to input your information and get a precise image. Though sites are normally very accurate, you can double-check the map before submitting it for printing through several scientific websites that record and keep track of the night sky.
Are celestial maps expensive?
Celestial maps are available in a range of prices. Generic maps found printed in stores and online will be less expensive than those that are customized. The medium it’s printed on and the size of the item or poster (and if it’s framed) will also affect the cost. Most posters of star maps will cost between $45 and $120.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Ashley Knierim, a freelance writer for The Spruce with over ten years of experience. Additional reporting was done by Melissa Epifano, a news writer for The Spruce who covers trends, decor, and design topics with a deep appreciation for all things interiors and exteriors.