Summer Stargazing Nights

Summer Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory
Fri, Aug 16, 2019 6:00 pm - 11:30 pm
$5 Suggested Donation per person 5 years and older

Tonight is Stargazing Night at Frosty Drew Observatory and the forecast is looking quite variable. At this time we are unsure what to expect, certainly a moderate level of clouds. Dew points are quite high, which make fog a likely possibility, alongside the potential for full cloud cover with up-to a 25% chance of showers. Considering we are one day past the Full Moon, the 99% waning gibbous Moon will be with us all night, shining brightly. The bright Moon, coupled with the bright planets, could make for viewing potential through thinner cloud cover and lighter fog. Though if clouds are anything like they have been this past week, views will be difficult.

We will open the Observatory, Sky Theatre, and Science Center at 6:00 pm this afternoon. We usually setup the hydrogen alpha telescope in the Observatory courtyard, tracking the Sun, but we will start on standby and monitor sky conditions. If acceptable, we will set up the solar rig. Sunset happens at 7:40 pm tonight, and Jupiter is first up on our list, with all four Galilean Moons in view and the Great Red Spot after 9:00 pm. Saturn is up next. Courtyard telescopes will showcase the super bright waning gibbous Moon once it rises above the trees. It’s important to note that all of this is dependent on weather tonight, and all telescopes will be on a constant state of standby. We will close up at 11:30 pm or when clouds become too heavy to observe through, whichever comes first. We’ll post updates to our Twitter (@FrostyDrewOBSY) as well as a “Closing Up” post when we decide to pack up.

Overall, the likely potential for clouds and fog, coupled with the super bright near-full Moon, will make tonight the night to skip. The Milky Way will not be visible and we may end up on stuck on standby resulting in an early close time due to weather. If you’re in the local area, and are looking for a quick astro-fix, then stop in and chat with our astronomers. Otherwise, kick back and wait for the bright Moon to depart.

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.

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 as well as to allow for the use of light sensitive astronomical equipment. Learn more about why we have this requirement in The Red Light District

To allow for visitors to freely explore all of the amazing experiences at Frosty Drew Observatory without having to wait in long lines, we have integrated a pass-based group access process that applies to only the large telescope inside the observatory dome. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this process as part of your planning steps.