Stargazing Nights - CLOSED

Stargazing Nights - CLOSED

Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center
Fri, Feb 3, 2023 - CLOSED
$5 Suggested Donation per Person

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 increasing clouds during the times we are open. Though overnight will be quite clear. We can also expect pretty intense wind, with gusts reaching into the 45mph range, which is well over the dome’s tolerance. Additionally, it will be extremely cold tonight with wind chills dropping to near -30ºF. All of these factors are making for a difficult, and potentially dangerous, night to be out.

Regarding observations of Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, this will not happen tonight for a couple of reasons. First, the Moon is very bright and will render the comet very dim against the bright Moon light. Secondly, the wind will come from the NW, which is the general direction we will have to orientate the dome to observe the comet. We cannot turn the dome into a 45mph gust. In any case, the comet will be much better next Friday without the Moon present.

With the threat of clouds and high winds, coupled with wind chills cold enough to bring on frostbite in 10 minutes, we feel that it would be rather silly to endure all that for a near-full Moon. At best, if it is clear, we would be restricted to binary star viewing on one side of the sky. So we are going to keep the Observatory and Science Center closed tonight. We will open next on Friday, February 10, 2023. Stay inside tonight with a blanket, kitty, and a warm cup of tastiness.

Take a moment to catch up on some choice space happenings this week in:
A Celebration of Space - February 3, 2023

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.

How to Dress for Winter Conditions: The Frosty Drew Observatory is not climate controlled, and the temperatures inside the dome need to match the outside air temperature for a stable telescopic view. Frosty Drew Astronomy Team members dress in layers during the winter and for a very good reason. You should consider doing the same. Please read Dressing for All-Night Winter Stargazing to familiarize yourself with adequate dressing measures.

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 beam 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.