Summer Stargazing Nights
- Frosty Drew Observatory
- Fri, Jul 16, 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.
Tonight's forecasts are quite variable at the time of writing. The forecast has been exceedingly unreliable this summer and on site conditions, on any given night, are totally up for grabs. Over the past 24 hours forecasts for tonight have degraded with the current model calling for some level of clouds and potential fog. Though last Saturday’s forecast was similar and it ended up being an amazing night! In any case we are sick of being closed.
We will open the Observatory, Observatory Courtyard, and Science Center at 6:30 pm this afternoon with our solar viewing program. Stop in for a view of the little sunspot AR2842 sitting on the solar photosphere reminding us that Solar Maximum is just around the corner. If it’s clear enough we will set up our hydrogen alpha telescope too and take a look at the magnetic field lines of the solar chromosphere. Once the Sun sets, we will switch our telescopes over to the 45% waxing crescent Moon and Venus. As twilight wanes we will direct our telescopes towards the fabulous binary star Albireo, the Great Hercules Cluster (M13), Messier 11 star cluster, the Ring Nebula (M57), Saturn, and Jupiter. We will stay open until 10:30 pm.
Overall, tonight’s sky conditions are anybody’s best guess. But we do think there will be some level of heavy haze / fog. The temps will be warm and the air will be heavy, certainly not a comfortable night. If you’re making the long drive, it’s a risk. Last Saturday we would have said not to make the drive, but those we told that to totally missed out on a fabulous night with the Milky Way. Just keep in mind that even though we try to, we cannot control the weather, and we are trying our best to make the night work out. Worse case scenario, you get into a great discussion with one of our astronomers. Also note that haze and thin cloud cover make for much better views of Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter. Regardless, take a chance and swing by for a view of the Sun, the Moon, and potentially fabulous views of the planets at Frosty Drew Observatory tonight.
Take a moment to catch up on some awesome things happening in space this week in: A Celebration of Space - July 16, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.