Stargazing Nights

Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center
Fri, Mar 1, 2024 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
$5 Suggested Donation Per Person

Welcome to the Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center's Stargazing Nights! Every Friday night (weather permitting) we open our Observatory, Science Center, Sky Theatre, and telescopes to the sky and offer free stargazing and astronomy to anybody interested in observing with us.

Tonight's forecasts are calling for increasing clouds in the evening with heavier clouds moving in after midnight. The timings of approaching clouds are a bit variable, with our best sources calling for the increase to start around 7:00 pm. Considering that the waning gibbous Moon does not rise until near midnight, we will not have the Moon as a backup plan. Jupiter’s view will improve with light cloud cover and could serve as a good target depending on how cloudy the sky is. Regardless, we will give it a go.

We’ll open the Observatory, Science Center, and Sky Theatre at 7:00 pm. In the Observatory, the large 24 inch telescope will start with views of Jupiter and its four Galilean Moons. Once Jupiter drops too low for the telescope, we will evaluate the quality of the sky. If acceptable, we may view anything from the Orion Nebula, the NGC 2392 white dwarf, binary stars, and more all depending on the clarity of the sky. In the Sky Theatre we will show our regular feature of celestial objects photographed at Frosty Drew Observatory. The plan is to close up at 10:00 pm, but clouds could shut us down earlier.

Overall, tonight may work out nicely, but there is a high probability that clouds will move in early. If making the long drive, it’s important to understand this risk. Of course there is the flip side, where clouds move in after we close up, and if that is the case then the night will be phenomenal due to the lack of the Moon, allowing for dark sky conditions to prevail. Regardless of how the night plays out, it will be good to be back out under the stars, even if for only a brief time. So swing over to Frosty Drew and catch up with some astronomy happenings, and keep your fingers crossed for a clear night.

If you are looking for that awesome astronomy thing to do or just want a night out to experience the cosmos under the darkest sky in Rhode Island, then this is your chance.

Take a moment to catch up on some celestial happenings this week in:
A Celebration of Space - March 1, 2024

Be sure to subscribe to the Frost Drew Observatory mailing list and follow us on Instagram 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 temperature 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.