Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library

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Available from your public library!

Explore the out of this world hobby of amateur astronomy @ your Library by borrowing one of our Celestron FirstScope telescopes.

Thanks to the generosity of the Department of Physics at St. Francis Xavier University the library now has three telescopes for users to borrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are these telescopes for?

Telescopes are available for borrowing by anyone with a library card.

These telescopes are ideal for anyone who’s interested in amateur astronomy. They are best suited to observing the moon and the five “naked eye planets”, but can also be used to observe deep sky objects.

How long can they be borrowed?

Telescopes can be borrowed for two (2) weeks. We are not offering renewals on telescopes at this time.

How do I reserve a telescope?

You can place a hold on one of our telescopes through our online catalogue or by calling your local library. You can choose your preferred pick up library location and the library will notify you when your telescope is ready.

Click the blue button below to find the telescopes in our online Library catalogue:

Telescopes: Check Availability & Place a Hold

What is included when I borrow a telescope?

The telescope kit comes with information on how to use the telescope and general observing and care tips as well as the manufacturer's instruction sheet. Each kit contains a 4mm and 20mm eyepiece.

How do I return the telescope?

Telescope kits should be returned at the designated return area inside your local library. They cannot be returned to library book drops.

Please note: Telescopes will be held for a quarantine period when returned to the library, before being loaned out again. This quarantine period is in accordance with Public Health guidelines.

Click here for Use & Care Guide [PDF]

How to Use the Telescope

  • Installing the Eyepiece: The eyepiece (or ocular) is an optical element that magnifies the image focused by the telescope.
  • Pointing the Telescope: The telescope is designed to be used on a table or other sturdy surface. Loosen the Lock Nut by turning it counterclockwise and hold the Tube End. Sight along the Optical Tube towards the object you want to find. Move the Tube End until you find the object you are searching for. Tighten the Lock Nut. You can leave the Lock Nut slightly loose and it will make it easy to make slight changes in any direction by moving the Tube End
  • Focusing: To focus the FirstScope telescope, simply turn the focus knob located directly below the eyepiece. Turning the knob clockwise allows you to focus on an object that is farther than the one you are currently observing. Turning the knob counterclockwise from you allows you to focus on an object closer than the one you are currently observing.

General Observing & Care Hints

  • If you wear glasses you may want to remove them when looking through the telescope.
  • Looking through window glass will result in poor images.
  • Looking across or over objects that are producing heat waves (asphalt parking lots on hot summer days or building rooftops) will result in poor images.
  • Hazy skies, fog, and mist can also make it difficult to focus when viewing terrestrially.
  • When not using the telescope, put the dust cover on, remove the eyepiece, insert the plug into the focus tube. If the telescope is very cold or dew covered, let it warm up or dry out before replacing the covers.
  • If the mirror or eyepiece gets wet with condensation, let it air dry.
    • Do not use a paper towel or cloth to dry mirror or eyepiece.