Stargazers present and potential: rejoice. Starting today, the Central Arkansas Library System, in concert with the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society, is adding fourteen 4.5" Orion Starblast telescopes to its inventory, available for library patrons to check out for two weeks at a time.
The Orion Starblast models magnify up to 56 times the naked eye, which means that viewers should be able to view the moon, Jupiter and Saturn in bright detail under most weather conditions, and under optimum weather conditions, more distant objects like star clusters, nebulas and other "deep sky" objects.
To help patrons learn how to get the most out of the equipment, the library system is offering two free events at Hillcrest Hall, 501 Kavanaugh Blvd.: a "Stargazing 101" class on Oct. 19, 7 p.m. and a Telescope Lending Launch Party Oct. 26, 5 p.m.