Read Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center's Update on SARS-CoV-2 / Coronavirus Disease 2019 and our Reopening Plan. Updated: December 1, 2020
Summer Stargazing Nights

Summer Stargazing Nights

Frosty Drew Observatory
Fri, Jul 31, 2020 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
This event has SOLD OUT

UPDATE: July 31, 2:43 pm ==============
This event has SOLD OUT! Thanks to all who supported us in this event. Let's hope for a fabulous night with minimal fog and cloud cover! If you don't have a ticket, please DO NOT JUST SHOW UP. Doing so will put us over our permitted number of visitors on site.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A link to acquire tickets will be posted on this event page no earlier than the day before the event, if weather is acceptable for viewing. We frequently post links on the day of the event so we have the most accurate forecast. We have been receiving an excessive number of phone calls and emails about where to acquire tickets for our events. This information is listed below! Kindly read the entire page before calling or writing in. The information is posted thoroughly so our team members do not have to respond to questions for redundant information. We will not respond to calls or emails with inquiries about how to acquire tickets! Thank you for your understanding.

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

Tonight is Stargazing Night at Frosty Drew Observatory and forecasts are calling for partly cloudy to mostly clear conditions with a chance of fog. Reading between the lines in the forecast data makes us think it will fog out around 10:00 pm. The amount of fog we get is up for debate, and considering we have a rather bright 90% waxing gibbous Moon, we should be able to deal with the fog. Additionally, lighter fog or heavy haze will give us a better view of Jupiter and Saturn, because they are too bright under a clear sky. In the telescope the brightness becomes more apparent than features in the planets atmospheres. With a bit of haze and fog, features become the more prominent view. With the bright gibbous Moon, we wouldn’t be observing any deep sky objects tonight (nebulae, galaxies, star clusters, comets), and only the planets, Moon, and brighter stars would be on our target list. So this could be a better than expected night because of the fog. That is if the fog can stay on the thinner side.

We will open the Observatory and Science Center at 8:30 pm. In the observatory courtyard we will have telescopes setup on the waxing gibbous Moon, Jupiter with its four Galilean Moon and the Great Red Spot after 10 pm, Saturn, Albireo, Nu Draconis, and more. The Science Center will be open with restricted access, featuring the works of our astronomers on gallery. We will close up at 10:30 pm.

Overall, tonight is an okay night. The bright Moon will render the Milky Way invisible, as well as restrict our views to only bright objects. Additionally, it will be rather hazy with fog eventually setting in. The fog could improve our views of the planets, though it will hinder our view of the Moon, and if the fog is too heavy, it could obscure all of our views. So tonight’s a risk. We think we will have at least partial views of the sky if not better, which is why we are going to attempt an opening. So grab a ticket and head over to Frosty Drew Observatory to catch up on our little sliver of the galaxy.

Please note that all visitors will require their own ticket, in their name, for admittance to tonight’s event. As with any ticketed event, one ticket will not be applicable to your entire group. Also, we have modified our ticketing system to include DOME ACCESS as a ticket add on. We have to limit access to the observatory dome and primary 16” telescope due to state mandates on group sizes indoors. The DOME ACCESS add on does not cost anything extra! If you do not acquire dome access, you still have access to all telescopes that are set up in the observatory courtyard as well as the Science Center and any other presentation on the campus. Some of our outdoor telescopes will offer comparable views to the primary 16” telescope. So you are not missing out if you don’t have dome access!

Due to restrictions on the number of people that can be in groups, we have integrated a temporary ticketing system. Tickets can be acquired online only! A link to acquire tickets will be posted on this event page no earlier than the day before the event, if weather is acceptable for viewing. Please DO NOT attempt to circumvent the ticketing process by using the standard donation form on our website. THAT WILL NOT GET YOU A TICKET OR ACCESS TO THIS EVENT! A ticket is required for admission at tonight’s event!

Important information about tickets:

- A maximum of 90 tickets will be available for each night depending on telescope availability.
- A ticket is required for each person in your party / group.
- Tickets will not be available on site. This means you need to arrive with your ticket.
- Tickets will be checked at the Observatory main gate, either electronically or physically.
- The name on the ticket must match the name of the ticket holder.
- If you do not have a ticket, you will not be granted admission.
- Tickets are non-refundable.
- This event is weather dependent and cancellations will be posted on the day of the event.
- Though tickets have different times listed, all ticket holders can stay on the campus for the entire duration of the event. The times are to mitigate the formation of a long admission line.
- We cannot guarantee the weather, nor can we guarantee that you will see what you may expect.

Tickets to this event are no longer available.

We ask for a donation of $5 per person over the age of 5 years. The ticket acquisition process will accept any donation amount that you are willing to give, and we thank you for doing so!

When visiting, please be aware of signage and social distancing markers as well as flow indicators. If you are experiencing any symptoms of any contagion, stay home and postpone your visit, even if that means forfeiture of your ticket. Visitors who are visibly displaying symptoms of a contagion will not be granted admission. This is just how it is for now, so take your allergy pill before departing for Frosty Drew Observatory!

Before visiting we always recommend reading 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. Though in particular you should read our Equipment Usage TOS because this will be in full force and inability to follow will result in the visitor or party being required to leave. Please familiarize yourself with our visiting info. I could prevent a potentially embarrassing moment.

Be sure to subscribe to the Frosty Drew Observatory mailing list, follow us on Twitter (@FrostyDrewOBSY) or on Facebook to receive status updates about our Summer Stargazing Nights program and more.

If this event is cancelled due to inclement weather or other reasons, we will host a live streamed event showcasing images of the cosmos that our astronomers have captured earlier in the week. A link to the live broadcast will be added to this page on the day of the event. Regardless, you can catch up on our live streams, science and astronomy videos, and more on the Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center YouTube

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.

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

We will update this event with our weekly announcement on the day of the event. The announcement will describe our plans for the night and what to expect regarding weather and astronomical sights.