Space lovers and stargazers alike will come together during this possibly “other-worldly event.
The Perryville branch Riverside Regional Library and the Astronomical Society of St. Louis will host a Star Party from 8-10 p.m. on Friday.
The event will be held at the library inside the Perry Park Center and will teach fellow star-gazers how to use telescopes and binoculars to view the night sky.
“What the Astronomical Society will do is teach us how to use the telescopes, and the kinds of things that are worth looking at,” Riverside Regional Library Perryville branch manager Melissa Haymaker said. “We have a lot of books here on telescopes and astronomy and I will have some of those set out for people to look through.”
Haymaker noted the idea came from the Jackson branch of the library.
“Our children librarian, Linda, had the same sort of event last month with the St. Louis Astronomical Society and how they will go around the area to different businesses, schools and libraries and teach you how to use the telescopes and how to use them. I have always been interested in space and the stars and I think all that stuff is just beautiful and I wanted to bring that here.”
Within the past two years, the library has attained a telescope, in part to help with the eclipse in 2017, to be rented out much the same way as a book, for one week at a time. The library has also recently added high-powered binocular, which can also be rented out for one week at a time, for those intimidated by the telescope. Haymaker noted that each of the six Riverside branches have telescopes and binoculars for rent with a library card, but it is something that not too many of the patrons know about.
“When new people come in and sign up for a card, we tell them about the telescope and the binoculars, but other than that, people don’t really know we have them, outside of the eclipse event,” Haymaker said. “But we hope that this event gets the word out and gets people interested in using them once thy have an expert show them how easy they are to use.”
The event will serve refreshments, along with door prizes to be given out at the end of the night.
“I’m so excited for the event,” Haymaker said. “I just want to get people here and maybe the event can help blossom an interest in space and the stars, and maybe even I can learn a few things.”