The Chelmsford Library now loans out telescopes. Cardholders can borrow one of 2 telescopes to learn more about the Night Sky.
Residents Rich and Sue Schueller donated one telescope to the main library in memory of Rich's father. Bruce and Donna Berger donated one to the MacKay Library in hopes that more people will find enjoyment in exploring the night sky. Rich and Bruce along with Kelly Beatty, editor of Sky and Telescope magazine, have volunteered to help maintain the scopes and promote night sky activities.
The new telescopes are Orion StarBlast 4.5-inch Astronomical Telescopes with zoom eye pieces and supportive material including laminated instruction manuals. This model telescope is robust and easy to use. There is nothing to assemble. It is of manageable size, but has a relatively large optical tube. This means that the Moon and deep sky objects will show far more detail than one could see with the common "beginners" telescopes. This scope also has a large field of view that allows the object to stay in the eyepiece longer.
Placing the telescopes in the public library allows greater general access to the scope and helps to foster scientific literacy, stimulate an interest in astronomy, and provide people who have never looked through a telescope the chance to experience the excitement that comes from discovery.
Here's a link to details in our catalog: http://chelmsford.mvlc.org/eg/opac/record/1546442
Here are some resources that you can find at the Library to help you learn more about the sky.
An interactive sky chart
Sky at a Glance:
NH Astronomical Society http://nhastro.com/
The Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston
Public outreach activities at Haystack http://www.haystack.mit.edu/edu/poa/index.html
http://heavens-above.com/ (for viewing satellites like the International Space Station)
“Sky & Telescope Magazine” has just revamped its website: here's a good link for those just getting started: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-information/
There are lots of "sky" apps for iPhones and androids. One especially good one is called Star Walk. (“Sky & Telescope Magazine” has one as well.)
And stellarium.org is a free, downloadable, open-source software that allows the users to "dial up" the night sky for any time, date, or location.
http://vitotechnology.com/star-walk.html - a link for the star walk apps