- Frosty Drew Observatory
- Fri, Mar 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 forecast is calling for clear skies during our sky watching session, with clouds moving in around 9:30 pm. Considering the sharply inaccurate forecasts of the past several nights in regards to clouds, we are skeptical of when clouds will move in. It may happen much earlier than forecast, or it may not happen at all. Regardless, the 43% waning crescent Moon will not rise until 1:29 a.m., which will keep the sky super dark for a celebration of nebulae and star clusters. Which is too exciting a prospect to stay closed for.
We will open the Observatory and Observatory Courtyard at 7:30 p.m. In the Observatory, the primary telescope will showcase the fantastic Orion Nebula, the Messier 46 open star cluster, Hubble’s Variable Star, Herschel 3945 (the Winter Albireo), and NGC 2392 – a young white dwarf star. We may also attempt a view of the large Near Earth Asteroid – Apophis, which will be making a close pass of Earth this evening. Courtyard telescopes will scan the dark sky, showing off several objects that are strikingly visible over Frosty Drew Observatory. We will close up at 9:30 p.m.
Overall, tonight has the prospects to be a fantastic night. There is a threat of clouds, which should happen after we close up, if sticking to forecasts. It will also be quite cold tonight with a persistent bitter wind. Temps will drop into the mid-20’s with wind chills dropping into the upper teens during our session. Due to pandemic based mandates, we cannot offer an indoor escape from the cold. This means you are required to dress properly. We wrote an article on doing just that. Read it, follow it!
We will also host a live streamed event tonight for those who choose to observe from the warmth of home. The live stream will be broadcast alongside our on site event and will feature live views of the cosmos with a commentary by our astronomers. Tune into the live stream starting at 7:30 p.m. here:
Now either kick back or set out for a fabulous night of astronomy under the fabulous starscape of Frosty Drew Observatory and kick off your weekend with a sky full of stars.
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 between Noon and 3:00 pm. The update will describe our plans for the night and what to expect regarding weather and astronomical sights.