If you stopped by RPL on Eclipse Day in August, you might have gotten a chance to use our telescope. Finally, that telescope is available to check out by the public!
The Orion Starblast Tabletop Telescope was donated to us by NWA Space through the Cornerstones of Science STAR (Sharing Telescopes and Astronomy Resources) Program. Cornerstones of Science work with public libraries to “create experiences of science that spark curiosity and foster a deeper connection to the world around us.” They supply libraries with small modified telescopes for adults and families to take home and explore space from their very own backyards.
NWA Space is a local astronomical group that works to inspire a lifelong love of learning in the people of NWA by supporting STEM education. They recently received the sixth-largest refractor telescope in the U.S. from Philadelphia, and plan to reassemble it right here in Northwest Arkansas for residents to enjoy.
To check out our telescope, there are a few rules. You must be 18 or older and be a cardholder for more than 6 months. You must sign an agreement stating that you’ll take care of our telescope because, although it is sturdy in some aspects, it is a fragile little thing full of small mirrors! The circulation staff will go over the rules with you before checking out the telescope and you’ll have a whole week to take a peek at the skies!
One rule we must emphasize is DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN! You can only use special filters on telescopes to look at the sun or else you’ll hurt your eyes!
For more information, come by the library and ask!