Stargazing Nights

Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 8:30 pm - 10:30 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 look fantastic! We can expect clear sky conditions, with moderate temps and a breeze. The Moon will be out at sunset, sporting a beautiful 85% waxing gibbous phase, which is right in the sweet spot for lunar observation. Copernicus Crater, Kepler Crater, Sinus Iridum, Tycho Crater, and so many awesome lunar features will be visible tonight, as well as the Hortensius Domes – silica lava domes that erupted during the late maria volcanism period in lunar history. On the flip-side, the Moon will be quite bright and out for our entire event, which will obscure our view of the fabulous starscape over Frosty Drew Observatory as well as make observation of deep sky objects difficult.

We will open the Observatory and Observatory Courtyard at 8:30 pm tonight. In the Observatory’s primary 16” telescope views of the Moon in high magnification will be visible. We’ll showcase notable craters, the Hortensius Domes, and other lunar surface features of note. As the night progresses, we may check out a few binary stars as well. In the Courtyard our astronomers will show wider field views of the Moon in our Courtyard telescopes as well as several other objects that are visible including binary stars, the Orion Nebula, and a handful of star clusters. We’ll stay open until 10:30 pm.

Tonight’s event will also be live streamed from Frosty Drew Observatory on our YouTube channel. Tune in, starting at 8:30 pm at:

Overall, tonight is a nice break from the Friday night cloud attack of the past few weeks. The Moon will be quite bright and will certainly outshine most of the objects visible on the darkest nights. But if the Moon is your crush, then tonight is your night. The best times to observe the Moon in a telescope are during the waxing gibbous phases, and tonight’s 85% waxing gibbous will not disappoint. So kick off that love affair with the Moon and have a special night out at Frosty Drew tonight.

Take a moment to catch up on all the amazing things happening in our little sliver of the galaxy in:
A Celebration of Space - April 23, 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 and early spring. 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!