Summer Stargazing Nights
- Frosty Drew Observatory
- Fri, Jul 30, 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 forecast looks awesome! We can expect clear sky conditions to persist throughout the day, overnight tonight, tomorrow for our IDEA Expo Fundraiser, and tomorrow night for our Celebrate the Milky Way event. Additionally, wildfire smoke will move out of our region later this afternoon and stay out for the next 36 hours. With no Moon rising until the Third Quarter Moon rises at midnight, we are in for a night of super dark sky conditions with ripping views of the Milky Way! We are super excited about the prospect of everything falling together so nicely this weekend.
Tonight, we will open the Observatory, Observatory Courtyard, and Science Center at 6:30 pm with our solar telescopes. Have you looked at the Sun through a telescope before? Sounds crazy right? Well we have telescopes that are specifically designed to safely observe the Sun. We will have our hydrogen alpha telescope set up showing fantastic views of plasma flowing along the magnetic field lines of the solar chromosphere. Alongside will be our Type II white light telescope showing a rather inactive view of the solar photosphere. In the Observatory the primary telescope will track Venus in daylight. Once the Sun sets we will switch into stargazing mode. The primary observatory telescope will rock alongside several courtyard telescopes. On the list is Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, Albireo, the Ring Nebula, the Messier 11 star cluster, the Lagoon Nebula, and dozens of other objects that are only visible on the darkest nights of the summer. We will stay open until 10:30 pm.
Overall, tonight looks like the best night yet of summer 2021, and everything is falling into place! We have no Moon until midnight, no clouds, no smoke, low humidity, some wind (to keep out mosquitoes), two meteor showers, and excellent placement of the Milky Way galactic plane. If making the long drive, tonight is the night to do it as the Milky Way should rock socks. It will likely be quite crowded on site, so keep that in mind when planning your visit. Otherwise, set out, dress for bugs, and have a fabulous night out with your inner geek at Frosty Drew Observatory tonight.
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.
Catch up on some awesome things happening this week in: A Celebration of Space - July 30, 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.