Summer Stargazing Nights
- Frosty Drew Observatory
- Fri, Jun 25, 2021 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm
- $5 Suggested Donation per person 5 years and older
Welcome to the Frosty Drew Observatory Summer 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.
After days of forecasts spelling out amazement for tonight, the forecast totally bombed at the last minute. At this time forecasts are calling for some level of clouds, with fog being the real driver of disaster. There is a lot of variability in the forecast, though fog is usually a deal breaker for us. But we also have a super bright 99% waning gibbous Moon tonight, one day past the Full Moon, which will shine through thinner cloud cover. This could serve as a bail out for thinner clouds, if fog stays at a minimum. Regardless, we will give it a shot.
We’ll open the Observatory, Observatory Courtyard, and Science Center at 6:30 pm this afternoon with our solar viewing program. If sky conditions are acceptable our Hydrogen Alpha and Type II White Light telescopes will be set up on the Sun. Hydrogen Alpha requires much clearer conditions, but the White Light telescope can show excellent views of the solar photosphere through thin cover. There is a new sunspot group rotating into view and may be slightly visible on the southwest edge of the photosphere. Once the Sun sets, we will switch over to stargazing mode, starting with a view of Venus, Albireo, Rasalgethi, and possibly a spot of dark sky viewing before the Moon rises. The super bright waning gibbous Moon will rise at 9:46 pm, offering a stunning golden view of the near Full Moon. The Moon will certainly restrict our viewing to binary stars once it rises. We will also observe the Moon in the big telescope as well as wide field Courtyard telescopes. We will plan to close up at 10:30 pm.
Overall, what was supposed to be a spectacular night has turned out to be another cloud attack. If making the long drive, it would be a good idea to skip tonight. Fog is a problem at our location, being so close to the water, and the likelihood of fog hammering our show tonight is quite high. But if you’re in the local area and have a free night, then stop in and hope with the best.
With the dynamic and rapidly changing pandemic landscape, site visit requirements will be changing very quickly. At this time, tickets are not required to attend this event, but visitors will have to register their name and phone number upon arrival. Note that we will NOT send anything to your phone number. This is used exclusively for contact tracing matters. We are limiting a maximum of 250 visitors concurrently at our event. If this limit is reached, you will have to either wait in your car or take a night stroll around Ninigret Park until availability opens up. Reading our SARS-CoV-2 Public Statement will get you the most recent information about this matter.
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 awesome happenings this week in: A Celebration of Space - June 25, 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
To allow for visitors to freely explore all of the amazing experiences at Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center without having to wait in long lines, we have integrated a pass-based group access process that applies to only the large telescope inside the observatory dome. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this process as part of your planning steps.
Please note that due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the detail of this event may change. Please check in regularly, both here and on our SARS-CoV-2 page, to stay up to date.