Read Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center's Update on SARS-CoV-2 / Coronavirus Disease 2019 and our Reopening Plan. Updated: March 12, 2021
Stargazing Nights

Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory
Fri, Mar 19, 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 sky conditions with decreasing winds and temps around 30º. The 35% waxing crescent Moon will be with us at sunset, and throughout our astro geek out, with set times happening around 1:13 a.m. These conditions are near excellent for stargazing! The Moon is a bit bright, but will look amazing sitting in the SW sky, as it is in conjunction with Mars tonight. When you are observing the Moon, you will notice a bright star about 2.5º east, that is Mars. Since the phase is still crescent, Earthshine will be quite visible tonight, which is when sunlight reflects off of Earth and illuminates the nighttime side of the Moon. Many deep sky objects will still be visible alongside the crescent Moon as well. The only concern we have tonight is the potential for wind gusts in the 32 mph range. We will give it our best go and hope for a fabulous night.

The Observatory and Observatory Courtyard will open at 7:30 p.m. tonight. In the large telescope, views of the crescent Moon, the Orion Nebula, Messier 46 star cluster, Herschel 3945 (the Winter Albireo), Messier 67 star cluster, and possibly a few galaxies will be on display. Courtyard telescopes will feature the crescent Moon, and any number of nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies that are attainable. We will close up at 9:30 p.m.

Overall, tonight is a great night to be out. We have a little of everything happening; the Moon, dark sky conditions, and a first night of galaxy hunting as we exit winter and kick off galaxy season. There is a threat of wind, which should decrease as the night progresses. Though with that wind will come wind chills, which will be in the mid-20’s. It is required to dress warm tonight! Read about how.

Alongside our onsite event, we will host a live streamed online event. Kick back with Frosty Drew astronomers as we showcase live and archived views of the cosmos. Commentary will be available and the views are spectacular. This is a good option for those who choose to stay out of the cold, or have pandemic related concerns. The live stream will run from 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

You can tune into our Stargazing Nights Live stream at:

Now either gear up for a fabulous night out under the stars or sit back on your couch with all the comforts of home and set your inner geek loose as we bring the cosmos to you.

Take a moment to catch up on all the amazing things happening this week in space in:
A Celebration of Space - March 19, 2021

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!