Stargazing Nights

Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center
Fri, Apr 21, 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.

Tonight's forecasts are calling for increasing clouds overnight. Timings of clouds are quite variable, though most forecast sources have us good to go during our time with the sky, with partly cloudy conditions probably being the worst we will see. Considering the New Moon occurred yesterday morning, we will have the 4% waxing crescent Moon sitting beautifully over the western horizon for the first half hour of the night, after which, super dark sky conditions will prevail. If clouds can stay out, it will be a stunning night.

We will open the Observatory, Science Center, and Sky Theatre at 8:00 pm. In the Observatory, our 24 inch telescope will show off twilight views of Venus, which is sporting a beautiful waning gibbous phase. Once twilight wanes, we will direct the big telescope towards galaxies, as springtime is galaxy season. Courtyard telescopes will showcase a handful of objects that are visible this time of year. In the Science Center we will have exhibits on display alongside select images captured by our astronomy team. The Sky Theatre will feature images that have been captured at Frosty Drew Observatory and videos of astronomical happenings. We will close up at 10:30 pm.

Overall, tonight has the makings for a spectacular night. Clouds will certainly be overtaking the sky overnight, and this could start during our stargazing session. So making the long drive is risky, as you could end up with a cloudy sky. On the flip side, we could see super dark, clear sky conditions, which will bring out dozens of galaxies for us to view. The summertime view of the Milky Way is currently very visible in the morning sky, before predawn, but not in the nighttime hours yet. So don’t expect stunning views of the Milky Way. If you’re feeling like you need a quick astrobump, then set your sights to Frosty Drew, and stop in for a moment with the cosmos.

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.

Take a moment to catch up on some astro-happenings this week in:
A Celebration of Space - April 21, 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.