Stargazing Nights

Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center
Fri, Dec 8, 2023 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tickets are NOT required to attend. Please read below.

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 mostly clear sky conditions with a bit of haze. The 12% waning crescent Moon will not rise until 3:23 am tomorrow morning, which will offer up super dark sky conditions for us to celebrate. Even with a bit of haze we will be able to observe dozens of fabulous objects.

We will open the Observatory, Science Center, and Sky Theatre at 7:00 pm. In the Observatory our 24 inch telescope will show off views of Jupiter and the four Galilean Moons, Uranus, the fantastic Orion Nebula, the Messier 37 open star cluster, the Messier 76 white dwarf star, and more. In the Science Center, temps will be warmer and exhibits will be on display. The Sky Theatre will also offer a respite from the cold with an onscreen feature of celestial objects photographed at Frosty Drew Observatory. We will close up at 10:00 pm.

Overall, tonight looks to be a rather good night. We should have mostly clear sky conditions without the Moon present, which equates to super dark sky conditions with thousands of stars. There is the potential for thin cloud cover to periodically pass over, which could dim out the dark sky, but allow for better views of Jupiter. It will also be cold out there tonight, so dressing for winter conditions is a must. Additionally, now that we are moving into the colder side of the year, we scale back our Friday night event operations a bit, and will not have as many, if any, telescopes set up in the Observatory Courtyard. Depending on how many people come out at any given time, this could have you standing in line in the cold to get into the Observatory building. If making the long drive, tonight could be a good night to consider, as the likelihood of a stunning night is on the higher side. So bundle up and set out to Frosty Drew for a night of stars, nebulae, and the planets.

Tickets are NOT required for visitors to attend this event. 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.

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.

Read about our Observatory Dome Access Passes, which are available on a first come first serve basis.

How to Prepare for Autumn Conditions: The second half of autumn at Frosty Drew will bring cooler than expected temperatures. The wide open environment, and outdoor design of the event, will directly expose visitors to the elements. Dressing for winter temperatures is highly recommended when visiting during this time of year. The Observatory building is not climate controlled and the temperatures inside the building must match the outside air temperatures for correct operations. A wind breaking jacket, hat, and warm shoes are necessary when visiting.

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.