Ranchhouse Milky Way: At the historic Waring Ranch in Parashant, undated photo courtesy of Todd Miller, National Park Service, St. George News
ST. GEORGE ̵
The Telescope Loan Program is a partnership between the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Cedar Breaks National Monument, the St. George Astronomy Group and the Washington County Library System. Six telescopes were donated by the two monuments to the Washington County Libraries. The Washington County Library System purchased two more telescopes, so each telescope had a telescope at its disposal. The maintenance of the telescopes will be ensured by the St. George Astronomy Group.
"Dark night skies are one of the great advantages of living in southwestern Utah," said Parashant Superintendent Chad Corey. "Through the telescope rental program, we are happy to give the residents of Washington County the opportunity to experience the wonders of seeing these objects in much greater detail in the night sky."
Due to the increasing light pollution in cities, many people in the area The world can not see more than a few stars at night. St. George is only 120 miles from Las Vegas, which is considered the brightest place in the world. But in St. George, hundreds of stars can still be seen on a dark night. Travel from the city to one of the local national parks or other public areas that are among the darkest places in the United States, and the visible stars can number in the thousands.
Library enthusiasts can visit a telescope and explore the night sky for a week in their own backyard. The telescopes are modified to be user-friendly. StarBlast's 4.5-inch desktop reflex telescope has high-quality optics that offer a great view of the craters on Earth's moon, Saturn's rings, Jupiter's moons, star clusters, galaxies, nebulae and more. Each telescope includes instructions for use, a lunar chart, a constellation guide of the constellations, and a night vision-friendly red LED spotlight.
On the West Meadow behind the house, a public star party will take place at 88 W. 100 South in St. George on Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm to kick off the library program for inter-library loan celebrate. The residents of Washington County are encouraged to receive a brief introduction to using the rental telescopes and to stargazing with the St. George Astronomy Group.
Contact your local library to check availability of telescopes. For more information on protecting the dark night sky, visit this Web site
- What: Washington County Library Observatory
- When: Saturday, April 28, at 8pm – 10pm
- Where: Behind the St. George Library at St. George, 88 W. 100 South.
- Details: The audience is invited and welcome. Learn how to operate the telescopes loaned to residents.