Stargazing Nights

Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center
Fri, Apr 14, 2023 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
$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.

After a week of amazing weather predictions, clouds have decided to move back in at the last minute. We can expect partly cloudy sky conditions tonight, with clouds becoming fully overcast overnight. Depending on the forecast source, we could end up clouded out during our event tonight. Considering that the 24% waning crescent Moon does not rise until 4:06 am tomorrow morning, we will not have the bright Moon to fall back to. Mars, even though it is quite distant, may show a nice gibbous phase through thinner cloud cover, and Venus will certainly offer up stunning views through thin clouds. So we will give it a go.

We’ll open the Observatory, Science Center, and Sky Theatre at 8:00 pm. In the Observatory, we will direct our 24 inch telescope towards the sky. At first we will stick to Venus, and brighter objects until twilight wanes. If it is clear, we will rock the super dark starscape with objects like the Messier 3 globular star cluster, the Whirlpool Galaxy, the Sunflower Galaxy, and more. Otherwise, we will stick to anything we can observe through the clouds. In the Science Center we will have exhibits on display alongside select astro images captured by the Frosty Drew Imaging Team. In the Sky Theatre we will show our regular feature of celestial objects captured at Frosty Drew Observatory. We will close up at 10:30 pm.

Overall, tonight looked amazing all week long, but has taken a hit in the final hours. If making the long drive, you are taking a risk as it could be very cloudy. On the off-chance that it is clear, it will be a spectacular night with no Moon and super dark sky conditions. If you are in the area, and want to try for a view of Venus, Mars, and maybe more, then stop in for a view. Otherwise, you may want to sit this one out.

Tickets are not required for visitors to attend this event.

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.

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.