Summer Stargazing Nights - SOLD OUT

Summer Stargazing Nights - SOLD OUT

Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center
Fri, May 31, 2024 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
This Event has SOLD OUT

Welcome to the Frosty Drew Summer 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.

We can expect partly sunny sky conditions later this afternoon, with mostly clear sky conditions happening after sunset. Considering that the 28% waning crescent Moon does not rise until 2:15 am, we are set up for a night of super dark sky conditions. A lot of our forecast sources are calling for hazy conditions this evening, and we have seen similar conditions over the past couple of weeks. This will make for less than optimal viewing conditions, but we will still have a stunning view of the sky.

We will open at 6:30 pm this afternoon. The Observatory Courtyard will feature our hydrogen alpha and white light telescopes offering views of the different atmospheres of the Sun. Sunspot group AR 3697 is a return of the large group that sparked the fabulous Aurora Borealis of May 10-12, 2024. Alongside other smaller sunspot groups, the view of the solar photosphere and chromosphere will be excellent. In the Science Center we will have exhibits on display about Frosty Drew, space, and astronomy. In the Sky Theatre we will show our popular feature of celestial objects photographed at Frosty Drew Observatory.

Once the Sun sets we will switch over to stargazing mode. During the twilight hours we will show binary stars, including Algieba, Mizar, Castor, and Xi Bootes. As twilight wanes we will direct our telescopes towards the objects best viewed under super dark conditions. On our list are the Messier 5 globular star cluster, the Messier 13 globular star cluster, the Messier 3 globular star cluster, The Sombrero Galaxy, Corvus Stargate, The Whirlpool Galaxy, the Messier 106 galaxy, and more. We will close up at 11:00 pm.

Overall, tonight looks quite good. The lack of a bright Moon, and the potential for clear sky conditions certainly gets us excited. There is a bit of variability in the forecast with several sources calling for partly cloudy conditions until after 10:00pm. Our most reliable sources are calling for that clearing to happen much earlier. So there is a threat of cloudier sky conditions. If making the long drive, keep in mind that you could be met with cloudier than expected conditions.

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 space happenings in:
A Celebration of Space - May 31, 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.

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

How to Prepare for Springtime Conditions: The Frosty Drew Observatory is located inside Ninigret Park and borders the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge. Insects and arachnids are a concern when visiting the Frosty Drew campus. We have observed mosquitoes, green head flies, deer flies, ticks, biting ants, and more. Please read the Mosquitoes and Insects section on our Visiting the Observatory page to familiarize yourself with adequate preparation measures.

Please note that we do not allow any white lights on our campus from dusk - dawn. 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.