Stargazing Nights

Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center
Fri, Dec 9, 2022 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
This Event has Ended

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 skies and offer free stargazing and astronomy to anybody interested in observing with us.

Tonight's forecasts are calling for clear sky conditions with cold temps and potentially windy conditions, which will make it feel much colder. The 98% waning gibbous Moon will rise at 5:16 pm, and be with us for our entire event. At 98% gibbous, the Moon will significantly outshine everything in the night sky except the planets and brightest stars. Though Mars is one day past opposition, which makes the red planet perfect for viewing, and Jupiter is still rocking socks. So even though it is cold, it will be a night to remember.

We will open the Observatory, Science Center, and Sky Theatre at 7:00 pm tonight. In the Observatory, our 24 inch telescope will track down a host of binary star systems, carbon stars, Jupiter with three of its four Galilean Moons in view, and Jupiter’s Great Red Spot later in the night. In the Science Center we will have exhibits on display alongside some of the works of our Astronomy Team. In the Sky Theatre, we will show an on screen feature of celestial photos captured at Frosty Drew Observatory by the Frosty Drew Astronomy Team. We’ll stay open until 10:00 pm.

Overall, tonight looks to be a beautiful night. The Moon will certainly dominate the sky, and any hopes of super dark sky conditions with thousands of stars have been dashed by the bright Moon. But Mars is in best viewing right now, and tonight’s clear sky will offer up fantastic views. Additionally, with the Spring Equinox approaching on Mars, the polar hood – which are heavy clouds that form over the polar ice cap, has become quite visible! We’ll also have excellent views of carbon stars tonight, which are visible as a deep crimson red – perfect for the season. It will be cold, so dressing properly will make the difference between a fantastic night of astronomy, and an uncomfortable night in the cold. Check out this article on how the Frosty Drew Astronomy Team dresses on the cold nights, and follow suit. Then stop in for a night of bright Moon light, deep red carbon stars, and Mars, and settle into the Holidays with the cosmos at Frosty Drew tonight.

Tickets are required for visitors to attend this event. Tickets are free, though a suggested donation of $5 per person, either online or at the event, is very appreciated.

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 weekly happenings in space this week in:
A Celebration of Space - December 9, 2022

Be sure to subscribe to the Frost Drew Observatory mailing list, follow us on Twitter (@FrostyDrewOBSY) or on Facebook to receive status updates about our Stargazing Nights program and more.

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 or in Ninigret Park from dusk - dawn, with the exception of low bean headlights while in motion. 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.