3..2..1.. Our Summer Reading Blast off is currently in the countdown! You can visit us during the summer to participate in our out of this world programming and, while you’re here, you can check out our telescope. That’s right! We have a portable telescope that people are able to check out just like you can check out books, movies, and video games.
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 works with public libraries to “create experiences of science that spark curiosity and foster a deeper connection to the world around us.” Their STAR program is based off successful programs that started in New Hampshire in 2008 and has expanded across the nation. They supply libraries with small modified telescopes for adults and families to check out, take home, and explore space from their very own backyards.
NWA Space is a local astronomical group that aspires to instill a lifelong love of learning in the people of NWA by supporting STEM education. They recently received the sixth-largest refractor telescope from Philadelphia. NWA Space plans to reassemble it right here in Northwest Arkansas for residents to enjoy.
To checkout 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, though 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!