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A Local Library Card Can Bring The Stars, Planets, And Moon Closer To Home

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Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library
Astronomer Dean Regas hopes to get more telescopes in local libraries.

The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Library is expanding the list of things you can check out. In collaboration with the Cincinnati Observatory, you can now borrow a telescope at five different branches.

Avondale, Elmwood Place, Madisonville, Pleasant Ridge and Westwood will each have two scopes that can be taken home for three weeks. The Observatory's Dean Regas says the scopes are very user-friendly.

"This is a really cool beginner telescope," Regas said. "It sits on a table-top. It's really portable. You just plop it down on the ground or a little table, aim it up at the sky. You can look at the Moon, planets, stars and star clusters."

Regas says each telescope comes with two eyepieces, a star chart, and two of Regas's books on backyard astronomy.

"You can see the craters on the Moon, the mountaintops… really nice, and in great detail," Regas said. "We have Venus you can see in the evening sky, and then Jupiter and Saturn coming around the bend pretty soon as well."

Regas says the observatory already loans out telescopes, and the partnership with the library seemed to be a natural fit.

"I thought this is just perfect for something that a library could do." He says if this goes well, there could be more telescopes coming to the library system.