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SPACE.com's Back-to-School Shopping Guide

Introduction

Shutterstock/Dominik Hladik

Back to school time is just around the corner, the science-minded among us may need to outfit themselves with some new gear for the school year ahead. Here are some of our top choices for space-age tools to help teachers, students and parents alike through the academic season, from our SPACE.com store:

Fisher Space Pen Bullet Chrome Finish

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The first item in any school backpack should be a reliable writing instrument. Give this "zero-gravity" space pen a try. It writes at any angle, even upside down, so it's as well suited to Earthbound desktop writing as it is to scribbling notes while floating on the International Space Station. $19.95

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Flown In Space - ISS Soyuz Laptop Bag

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Anyone heading back to school may also need a new bag to stow their gear. Get in the spirit by carrying this laptop bag made with genuine material from a swatch of parachute that has flown in space. These bags are sown with material from Russian Soyuz spacecraft that visited the International Space Station in 2003 and 2004.$115.00

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Night Sky Star Wheel

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Every home should have one of these indispensable sky wheels for backyard viewing. Get to know your night sky! $12.95

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Alien Worlds Infographic - XL Poster (20"x60")

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This poster, featuring a tour of some of the known planets beyond our solar system, is the perfect adornment for a college dorm wall or a home bedroom. Illustrated by SPACE.com's own Karl Tate, this poster reminds us that Earth is not alone in the universe. Who knows what's out there?$15.49

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Moon Globe

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When it's time to get down to studying again, use this globe of the moon to pick out features such as Mare Tranquillitatis, where the first manned Apollo mission landed in 1969. This will also come in handy when observing the moon with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope — now you can identify the large craters and features you see.$99.95

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Meade Model 900x Microscope w/ 28 Piece Kit

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Budding scientists can use this beginner's microscope set, complete with an accessory kit containing all the slides, dyes, tweezers and tools you need to get started. $39.99

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3D Glow In The Dark Solar System

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This astronomy kit brings the solar system alive in your bedroom, with glow-in-the-dark models of the eight planets (plus Pluto!), as well as sticker stars to make your own constellations on the ceiling.$22.95

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Binocular Highlights

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If you're not ready to take the plunge with a telescope for stargazing, a set of binoculars can still reveal the night sky in a whole new light. This guide outlines the best objects for backyard viewing through a pair of binoculars.$21.95

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Uncle Milton Star Planetarium

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If you miss the stars when you're indoors, then this planetarium globe is for you. This kit projects hundreds of stars and constellations on your ceiling, for viewing from the comfort of your own bed.$34.99

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Meade ETX-80AT-TC Telescope with Backpack

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For students of astronomy, or anyone who'd like to see the heavens up close and personal, this 80mm (3.1") refracting telescope is a great instrument. Excellent for beginners, the telescope is highly portable and comes with a backpack for carrying on camping trips, to the local park, or just out back behind the house. $299.95

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