Stargazing Nights

Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory
Fri, Feb 5, 2021 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
$5 Suggested Donation per person 5 years and older

Welcome to the Frosty Drew Observatory Stargazing Nights! Every Friday night (weather permitting) we open our Observatory, Science Center, Sky Theatre, and telescopes to the sky and offer free stargazing and astronomy to anybody interested in observing with us.

Tonight's forecasts are looking very variable. Generally, we can expect this afternoon’s rain to move out early in the evening, with clear skies eventually setting in overnight. The variability that we are seeing is in regard to the timings of that clearing. Most sources are placing our session under some form of cloud cover, from mostly cloudy to mostly clear. With one source calling for clear sky conditions after 6:00 pm. Considering that the 28% waning crescent Moon does not rise until 2:25 am, we are set up for a night of super dark viewing conditions. This could make it worth the risk, as variability usually favors us at Frosty Drew.

Even though variability is leaning towards a cloudy session, we will attempt an opening of the Observatory and Observatory Courtyard from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm. In the Observatory the primary telescope will observe whatever the sky offers. On our list is the Orion Nebula, R-Lepus – The Vampire Star, Rigel, the Messier 46 open star cluster, the Wolf-Rayet star – NGC 2359, Hubble's Variable Nebula, Bodes Galaxies, the Messier 67 open star cluster, and more.

Overall, tonight is quite risky. There is a good chance that we will be clouded out., at least during the earlier part of our viewing session. Additionally, temps will drop below freezing quite fast tonight, which could result in a good deal of ice on the campus and on the roads. Due to local pandemic based restrictions, we can only allow up-to two visitors in the Observatory at a time, if they are from the same household. This will result in an increased amount of time standing in the cold. Additionally, we cannot offer an indoor escape from the cold, as we usually do in the winter season. There could be some wind tonight, which will make it feel much colder. Dressing warm is REQUIRED! Read about dressing for winter conditions here: Now take a risk and stop in for a potential night of fabulous views of the cosmos at Frosty Drew Observatory, tonight.

Be sure to subscribe to the Frosty Drew Observatory mailing list, follow us on Twitter (@FrostyDrewOBSY) or on Facebook to receive status updates about our Stargazing Nights program and more.

Now that Frosty Drew Observatory has entered its off / down season we are scaling back our operations for a few months. We will still open every Friday night, weather permitting, to host our Stargazing Nights event. Though we will not have as many telescopes or astronomers available. The big change of late is the removal of our ticket requirement, which could come back at any time we feel it is necessary. What this means is that visitors can freely visit Frosty Drew Observatory on Friday nights. What it DOESN’T mean is that everything is back to normal. We will be counting the number of visitors that enter our Courtyard and will only allow up to a specific number depending on how visitors are conducting themselves. Additionally, dome access will be a mix of self governed and astronomer managed. The same restrictions will be in place as have been for the past month and we will have signage as well as team members to help direct flow dynamics. It is very cold in the winter at Frosty Drew and due to this new model, you will be outside in the wind for extended periods of time. Inadequate preparation for your visit is NOT our fault! Our down season usually lasts until May. This is yet another trial and error process that we will adapt to and learn from. We thank you for your patience during these times.

If you are looking for that awesome astronomy thing to do or just want a night out to experience the cosmos under the darkest skies in Rhode Island, then this is your chance.

Check out our page on Visiting Frosty Drew Observatory to learn more about what to expect at the Observatory and better help you prepare for your visit.

Please note that we do not allow any white lights on our campus from dusk - dawn. This is to ensure an equally awesome view of the night sky for all and to allow for the use of light sensitive astronomical equipment. Learn more about why we have this requirement in The Red Light District

It is cold at Frosty Drew Observatory during the winter. Visitors will be completely exposed to the harsh winter environment while standing on frozen ground. Dressing properly is REQUIRED to attend! Lean how the Frosty Drew Astronomers dress for working overnight on the Frosty Drew campus during the winter. Read it! Follow it!

We will update this event listing on the day of the event. The update will describe our plans for the night and what to expect regarding weather and astronomical sights.