Borrow a Telescope

The James Blackstone Memorial Library has partnered with the Astronomical Society of New Haven to offer an Orion StarBlast 4.5″ Astro Reflector Telescope for patrons of all ages to borrow from the Blackstone and use at home.

The telescope circulates for two weeks, and comes with a pad and carrying case, plus instruction booklet and map of the night sky. You will receive a brief orientation to the telescope at checkout. Telescope must be picked up from and returned to the Youth Services desk at Blackstone Library. Call Youth Services at 203-488-1441, ext. 321 and ask about borrowing it today!

You can see each month’s evening star chart and get tips for getting started with star-gazing here.

Tips from the Astronomical Society of New Haven on Using the Orion StarBlast Telescope & What to Look For

Telescope Kit includes:

  • Orion StarBlast 4.5″ Astro Reflector Telescope
  • Carrying case & pad
  • Instruction booklet
  • Guide to the Night Sky & Starmap for current month

Loan Period, Fines and Fees

  • Telescope must be picked up from and returned to the Youth Services Desk at Blackstone Library
  • The telescope will circulate for two weeks
  • Fees will be assessed for damaged, lost, or stolen items.

Patron Responsibility

  • Patrons must have a Connecticut library card with their account in good standing (i.e. not blocked by fines of $25.00 or more).
  • Patron accepts full financial liability for the telescope and agrees to pay all costs associated with the damage to, loss of, or theft of the telescope.
  • Patron agrees to inform library staff regarding any issues with items (broken pieces, dead batteries, cosmetic damage, lost items, etc).
  • Patron will not attempt to alter the structure or any of the equipment of the telescope or any of the contents within the container.
  • Patron will not attempt to clean any part of the telescope. If any part seems dusty or dirty, please return the telescope to the library and we will handle cleaning.
  • Patron will take responsibility for reading instruction manual and guide for how to properly use telescope
  • Patron will be sure to power down any battery power source on the telescope when returning the telescope.

The Astronomical Society of New Haven also marks twenty years of public outreach in Branford. Since Summer 1996, public astronomical observation events have welcomed all to view the heavens at Young’s Pond Park. Members of the Society set up their telescopes for people to look through and learn about at the Moon, planets, stars, double stars, star clusters, nebulas, galaxies, and whatever else can be seen through scopes or your eyes including the constellations and flyovers by iridium-flare satellites and the International Space Station. Special observing sessions were held to view a Lunar eclipse and an all-night meteor shower.

Observing sessions are on a Saturday night each month during the Spring and Fall. Anyone is welcome to attend, no telescope needed. The Society’s general meetings are on the last Tuesday of the month from October through May at the Yale Leitner Family Observatory, New Haven. All interested in learning more about astronomy are welcome. For more information and a schedule of club events, visit the Society’s Website at