Welcome to the Custer Institute & Observatory

Long Island's oldest public observatory (est. 1927)
Suggested donation of $5 adults and $3 children.

All observing is done out in the open air, under the stars. Dress appropriately.

For the Curious

The Custer Institute and Observatory is Long Island's oldest public observatory (est.1927). Open to the public every Saturday evening from dusk until midnight, our staff of volunteers will give you a tour of the facilities and the night sky through our powerful telescopes. Custer has a library, museum, and gift shop. Frequent lectures, classes,concerts, art exhibits and other special events.


Custer Links

Updated: 05/22/Two Thousand Eighteen

Saturday Night Observing: Open 7pm-Midnight

Check our weather and the moon phase

Weather permitting, Saturday Night Observing is from 7pm to midnight where volunteer Staff provide guided tours of the sky.



  May 2018
12 RITES OF SPRING MUSIC FEST at Custer Observatory presents IAN ROSENBAUM and EDUARDO LEANDRO PERCUSSION.
This musical program presents contemporary works that reflect the richness of percussion instruments and their ability to generate new sound environments. Praised for his "excellent" and "precisely attuned" performances by the New York Times, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum has developed a musical breadth far beyond his years. Mr. Rosenbaum joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 2012 as only the second percussionist they have selected in their history.
26 4pm BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING, members welcome.
  June 2018
23 4:30 pm Annual Membership Meeting and BBQ.
Please try to attend in person and vote, then stay and mingle at the BBQ and the concert! See the next entry...
Saturday 23 7:30pm. 

CONCERT UNDER THE STARS featuring ROBERT BRUEY and IZZY DOROSKI.  This multi-artist performance will be held outdoors on the Observatory lawn.  Stargazing will occur concurrently beginning at nightfall through the Observatory’s powerful telescopes and guided by expert staff.  Bring a blanket or chair and a telescope of your own (optional). $15 Adults, $12 Members, $10 Children under 16.

Robert Bruey is known for his unique fingerstyle guitar playing and earthy soulful voice.  He paints with words, imbuing his songs with imagery that enables listeners to visualize his stories as he sings them. Robert’s live performances are moving and intimate and his recently released Carousel CD has received much positive acclaim.  Robert will be performing as the sun sets with cellist, Jonathan Preddice and violinist, Leanne Preddice Stromm. 

Izzy Doroski's futuristic and imaginative compositional skills have trail blazed a new frontier in today's contemporary electronic music. He creates a visionary sound that enters realms of ambient spatial dimensions and flight line rhythms that transcend modern music. Izzy will take us on a deep space journey when he performs his unique music as the stars come out.  Izzy will also play several songs from his newly released album - 'Beyond the Galaxy'.

Friday 25 Members' Night: Last Friday each month. No public tours!
A Members-Only (and their guests) evening for mingling, observing, enjoying the observatory and its resources, discussing Custer's present and planning its future together. Coordinated through the Custer Member's Yahoo Group. Members check there for updates.
Saturday 30 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
STEINWAY AND STARGAZING featuring CHAMBEROSITY.

This musical program is the first in the Steinway & Stargazing series to benefit the Custer Observatory's Music Project. Following the concert and reception will be a private evening of stargazing (weather permitting) through the Custer Observatory's powerful telescopes and guided by Observatory staff.

Trio for Piano, Violin and Horn - Eric Ewazen
Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano - Peter Winkler
Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano, Op.28 - Joseph Holbrooke

Enjoy an outdoor reception under a beautiful star-themed tent following the concert with wine tasting and passed hors d'oeuvres by Grace & Grit Catering. Stargazing at nightfall.

  • grilled pita, olives and homemade hummus
  • chorizo crostini with shaved manchego
  • assorted deviled eggs
  • tuna tartare on ruffled chip
  • goat cheese ball on crackers with port wine reduction
  • bacon wrapped dates with marcona almond and blue cheese

Chamberosity began its existence as the Long Island Chamber Players in the early 1990s, when Linda Sinanian, Jeffrey Forden and Christine Doré started playing chamber music together. Chamberosity was quickly recognized for the joy-giving communicative quality of its playing. The critically acclaimed trio has been the ensemble-in-residence at the Stony Brook Summer Music Festival, the Music At Greenlawn concert series and the Siena Spirituality Center in the Hamptons. Over the years, Chamberosity has organized travel around the globe for students of Protégé International, a traveling summer music festival based on the “work- hard- play –hard- while –creating- lifelong -memories” mantra by which the group’s members have always lived. Chamberosity is dedicated to the vast and rich chamber music repertoire. The ensemble frequently expands its roster with guest artists, which creates a unique instrumental flexibility. This allows the group to present varied and diverse chamber music programs, from standard repertoire to often overlooked and rarely performed treasures. Chamberosity has commissioned two trios, one from Eric Ewazen and one from Peter Winkler which will be performed as part of the evenings program.

Tickets: $75 in advance / $95 at the door

  July 2018
Sunday 1 2:00pm - 5:00pm.
STEINWAY SUNDAYS featuring the PERRRY SCHERER ENSEMBLE.

This musical program is the second in the Steinway & Stargazing series to benefit the Custer Observatory's Music Project. Following the concert and reception will be a private afternoon of solar stargazing (weather permitting) through the Custer Observatory's telescopes and guided by Observatory staff.

Piano Quartet in G minor, K.478 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Quartet in A minor - Gustav Mahler
Piano Trio #1 in D minor - Felix Mendelssohn

An after concert reception follows the concert with mimosas and appetizers. Solar observing begins concurrently.

Tickets: $55 in advance / $65 at the door


Saturday 21 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
STEINWAY AND STARGAZING featuring the TED HOYLE ENSEMBLE.

This musical program is the third in the Steinway & Stargazing series to benefit the Custer Observatory's Music Project. Following the concert and reception will be a private evening of stargazing (weather permitting) through the Custer Observatory's powerful telescopes and guided by Observatory staff.

Piece en Forme de Habanera - Maurice Ravel
Song Without Words - Felix Mendelssohn
Nocturne - Lili Boulanger
Sonata No. 5 in e minor - Antonio Vivaldi
Sonata in D Minor, K. 517 - Domenico Scarlatti
Impromptu No. 2 in F Sharp Major, Op. 36 - Frederic Chopin

Enjoy an outdoor reception under a beautiful star-themed tent following the concert with wine tasting and passed hors d'oeuvres by Grace & Grit Catering. Stargazing at nightfall.

  • local farm vegetables with green goddess sauce and caramelized onion dip
  • bacon bites
  • gazpacho shooters
  • caprese skewer with fresh mozzarella and basil
  • salmon tartar on edible spoons
  • smoked pulled pork sliders

Tickets: $75 in advance / $95 at the door

Sunday 22 2:00pm - 5:00pm.
STEINWAY & STARGAZING featuring ELLEN JOHANSEN.

This musical program is the fourth in the Steinway & Stargazing series to benefit the Custer Observatory's Music Project. Following the concert and reception will be a private afternoon of solar stargazing (weather permitting) through the Custer Observatory's telescopes and guided by Observatory staff.

An Afternoon of Musical Contrasts

Prelude and Fugue in A Minor - J.S. Bach
Il Lamento - Franz Liszt
Fantasy Etudes for Solo Piano - John Corigliano
Grande Valse Brillante, Opus 34, No. 1 - Frédéric Chopin
Sonate Opus 1 - Alban Berg
Sonata in D Major - Herbert Rothgarber

An after concert reception follows the concert with mimosas and appetizers. Solar observing will begin concurrently.
Tickets: $55 in advance / $65 at the door

Friday 27 Members' Night: Last Friday each month. No public tours!
A Members-Only (and their guests) evening for mingling, observing, enjoying the observatory and its resources, discussing Custer's present and planning its future together. Coordinated through the Custer Member's Yahoo Group. Members check there for updates.
  August 2018
18 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
STEINWAY & STARGAZING featuring STEVEN LEONARD MESSINA and THAD DEBROCK of BLOW UP HOLLYWOOD.

This musical program is the final installment in the Steinway & Stargazing series to benefit the Custer Observatory's Music Project. Following the concert and reception will be a private evening of stargazing (weather permitting) through the Custer Observatory's powerful telescopes and guided by Observatory staff.

Blow Up Hollywood is an underground American rock band. Their eclectic sound, built over a decade of recording, incorporates many different styles, diverse as progressive rock, post-rock, experimental, pop, classical, jazz and ambient soundscapes. Founded by Steve Messina and Nik Chinboukas in 2001, the group has evolved into more of a collective than a band, as some of their members have changed over the years.

Their debut, self-titled CD, is a concept album about death and the afterlife. The CD was recorded in a beach house in West Hampton, New York, over the course of three weeks in March 2001, and was released the following year. Originally the recording was intended to be just a “musical vacation” amongst friends who had performed and recorded together in various groups and projects throughout the years. But after hearing the results, and enjoying the collaboration, they decided to release it, with Blow Up Hollywood as their moniker.

Their sophomore CD, Fake, was released in 2004, and garnished critical acclaim.

In 2006 the band released what would become their most popular CD, both nationally and internationally. With the debate over the war in Iraq raging, the band released another concept album, The Diaries of Private Henry Hill. Based on the journal entries of a young, deceased soldier from the Iraq war, Blow Up Hollywood takes us on Private Henry Hill’s surreal journey as he joins the army out of necessity rather than patriotism.

Founder Steve Messina and bassist, Thad Debrock, perform some pieces from Blow Up Hollywood's body of work to end the Steinway & Stargazing series.

Enjoy an outdoor reception under a beautiful star-themed tent following the concert with wine tasting and passed hors d'oeuvres by Grace & Grit Catering. Stargazing at nightfall.

  • assorted bruschetta, caponata, classic, pancetta and fig
  • smoked bluefish in spoons
  • wild mushroom and goat cheese flatbread
  • squash latkes with apple chutney
  • watermelon and feta skewers
  • Korean beef skewers

Tickets: $75 in advance / $95 at the door

Friday 31 Members' Night: Last Friday each month. No public tours!
A Members-Only (and their guests) evening for mingling, observing, enjoying the observatory and its resources, discussing Custer's present and planning its future together. Coordinated through the Custer Member's Yahoo Group. Members check there for updates.
  November 2018
2-4 StarFest 2018 (aka 40th Astronomy Jamboree, but now with a more modern and catchy name! Events are better too – wait and see!)
Details to follow, but mark your calendars!

Visit Custer!

Get a feel for the place and part of our must-see-in-person collection!

NASA TV Public-Education

NASA TV airs a variety of regularly scheduled, pre-recorded educational and public relations programming 24 hours a day on its various channels. The network also provides an array of live programming, such as 24-hour coverage of International Space Station events (spacewalks, media interviews, educational broadcasts), and rocket launches.