Summer Stargazing Nights
- Frosty Drew Observatory
- Fri, Aug 27, 2021 8:00 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 calling for rather conflicting conditions, though it appears that as the day progresses, forecasts are getting worse. Several sources are calling for t-storms, cloud cover, and fog with some sources calling for clearer conditions earlier in the night with t-storms, fog, and clouds moving in later. At Frosty Drew, we are very vulnerable to fog and will often see fog move in much earlier than expected. On the flip side, the past couple of weeks were much nicer than we had anticipated regarding fog. So we really don’t know what to expect tonight. The 74% waning gibbous Moon will rise at 10:10 pm, which would have offered up a super dark sky, if not for the copious amounts of wildfire smoke moving through our region. Haze and light fog usually make for better viewing of Jupiter and Saturn, but heavy fog and overcast conditions will render our telescopes unusable.
With such a variable forecast, and the higher probability for inclement weather, we will open at 8:00 pm and skip our solar viewing session. In the Observatory and Observatory Courtyard, telescopes will offer views of Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and a handful of binary stars. If sky conditions end up on the awesome side, we will direct our telescopes towards star clusters and nebulae. In the Science Center exhibits will be on display as well as astrophotos taken by the Frosty Drew astronomers. Have you ever touched something that’s been to space? Well we have the Project Comet Chaser rocket on display in the Science Center. This rocket went to space and passed through the tail of comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle! In the Sky Theatre we will present a showcase of celestial objects photographed by the Frosty Drew Astronomy Team. We will stay open until 10:30 pm unless the weather pushes us out early. In any case we will stay open until 9:30 pm.
Overall, tonight is probably going to bomb. Forecasts are getting worse as the day moves on, and the probability of t-storms and fog during our session are quite likely. There is a chance that we could score a view, and the past couple of weeks have played out to our favor, so we will attempt an opening tonight. If it does cloud out, we will turn on the lights in the Observatory and offer tours of our gear. As well as offer a commentary alongside our Sky Theatre presentation. So take a chance on the last Friday before school kicks back in and see if you can spot Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s moons, and more.
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 celestial happenings this week in: A Celebration of Space - August 27, 2021
COVID-19 NOTICE: ==============
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.
Preparing for your visit: =========
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.