- Frosty Drew Observatory
- Fri, Mar 12, 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 calling for crystal clear sky conditions. We also have the New Moon occurring tomorrow morning at 5:24 a.m., setting us up for fabulous dark sky viewing. The only issue we see with tonight is the wind, and it’s a significant problem with wind gusts reaching into the 50 mph range. That is WAY over our acceptable wind tolerance in the Observatory facility. Usually we close the door and pack everybody inside the dome on these nights and observe in a direction away from the wind. Which we won’t be doing at this time. Though we may be able to swing a night with our Courtyard telescopes, and possibly dome access via managed door admittance. Regardless, we will give it a try.
We will open the Observatory and Observatory Courtyard at 7:30 p.m. In the Observatory we are unsure if we can open the primary telescope in regards to the wind. If we can, there are dozens of stunning nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters within our grasp tonight. Courtyard telescopes will scan the sky, showing off the Orion Nebula, Messier 46 open star cluster, the Leo Triplet (three galaxies together), Bodes Group, and more. Now that we are on the verge of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the Virgo Galactic Supercluster is rising earlier with each passing night, opening up a view to thousands of galaxies on the darkest nights, like tonight. We will stay open until 9:30 p.m.
Additionally, we will host a live streamed event alongside our on site event, for those who cannot make it out tonight. Kick back with our astronomers as they show both live views of the sky and archived images that have been captured recently. If you can’t make it out to the observatory, then tune into the following live stream starting at 7:30 p.m., and couch rave with the cosmos!
Tonight’s event will be live streamed at: https://youtu.be/WkaVRVgnYvI
Overall, tonight has nearly all the perks of an amazing night. The real downer is the wind, which could render our telescopes useless. We will give it our best go and see what we can pull off. Temperatures will be much warmer than the past several Fridays, though the wind will make you cold. You should still dress for a winter night out in the cold. Exposure is the real deal at Frosty Drew! Now take a chance, and stop in for a night with a crystal clear starscape and celebrate your inner geek.
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.
Take a moment to catch up on some amazing things happening in space at: A Celebration of Space - March 12, 2021
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!