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: 04/19/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.



Check back often for the lastest information regarding programs and news.

  Clear, cloudy, or rain? If it's a Saturday night, then YES, we ARE open!

Everyone loves the moon! Check the phase of the Moon here and remember, less moon = darker skies which is what you need to see many deep sky objects such as those found in the Messier Catalog or the NGC Objects. But whether the Moon is just a sliver or full, it's always great to see through our telescopes!

As a volunteer organization, we can really only guarantee to answer the phone Saturday nights when we are there. Check back here and our facebook page for the latest information.
  May 2019
Saturday,
May 11
ASTRONOMY DAY

details coming soon!


Saturday,
May 18

4pm

Custer Board Meeting, members welcome. Stay for the follwing program...


Saturday,
May 18
8pm

Open Discussion Night.

Ed Anderson, a member of the Astronomical Society of Long Island (ASLI) and of the Custer Institute, will be leading an open discussion. Come and ask questions about buying binoculars or telescopes. If you already have a telescope he can discuss using your telescope, eyepieces, Barlow lenses, filters and other things related to visual astronomy. He can also discuss how to find things in the sky. After the presentation, if the weather is clear, Ed will open the ASLI dome on the grounds of Custer Observatory which houses a 14” Meade LX200 computerized telescope. Weather permitting, Custer Observatory staff will also give tours of the night sky through the Zerochromat telescope in the main observatory dome and other powerful telescopes on site. Feel free to bring your own binoculars or telescope to look through or just enjoy the view from ours!
Suggested donation: $5 Adults, $3 Children under 12

  June 2019
Saturday,
June 8
7PM
THE RITES OF SPRING MUSIC FEST presents LIMINAL HIGHWAY.

Grammy-award winning flutist Tim Munro performs a solo flute concert with electronics accompaniment in the theme of finding comfort in a world of craziness. The first five short-ish pieces will be like prayers (calm, meditative), preparing the audience for composer Christopher Cerrone's final piece 'Liminal Highway', which takes the listener on more dramatic journey.

Christopher Cerrone conjures sonic environments. His magnetic music surrounds listeners, painting landscapes, bringing to the surface raw emotions. This program provides a snapshot of the composer through new and in-progress works. In the course of one hour performance, the audience will hear the flute, guitar, beer bottles and song.

Liminal Highway, written by Cerrone for flutist Tim Munro, evokes the sensation of this moment. Layer upon layer of flute sounds shimmer, pulse and glow, creating a radiantly beautiful sonic mirage.

Tim Munro is a Chicago-based, double-Grammy-winning musician. His diverse work as a flutist, speaker, writer and teacher is united by a single goal: to draw audiences into an engrossing and whimsical musical world.

Winner of a 2015 Rome Prize and a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize, the Brooklyn-based composer Christopher Cerrone is internationally acclaimed for compositions which range from opera to orchestral, from chamber music to electronic. Throughout, his music is characterized by a subtle handling of timbre and resonance, a deep literary fluency, and a flair for multimedia collaborations.


Stargazing (weather permitting) will follow.

$25 Advance/$30 at the door. $10 Student 13-18. Children under 13 - Free.


Saturday,
June 15

4pm

Annual Membership Meeting and BBQ. Details coming.

Saturday,
June 22
8pm

Lecture: Getting Started in Astronomy with Binoculars.

Many people already own binoculars but have never thought to turn them to the sky. Even a 7X50 mm binoculars gather 50 times more light than the naked eye and so will reveal stars and structures that you cannot see with your eyes alone. Ed Anderson, a member of the Astronomical Society of Long Island (ASLI) and of the Custer Institute, will discuss types of binoculars and what to look for if you are buying binoculars for astronomy. He will also discuss how to adjust them, how to hold them and how to mount them. After the presentation Ed will bring the group outside (weather permitting) to point out interesting binocular targets, so bring your own binoculars, whatever size, if you have them. Or bring your telescope, as many of these targets look good with a telescope too. Ed will be available for Q&A after the presentation and if the weather is clear, Custer Observatory staff will give tours of the night sky through the Zerochromat telescope in the main observatory dome and other powerful telescopes on site.
Suggested donation: $5 Adults, $3 Children under 12

  July 2019

Saturday,
July 13

4pm

Custer Board Meeting, members welcome.

Saturday,
July 20

8pm

Celebrating the Apollo 50th Anniversary
Lecture: Observing the Moon.


The Moon is our nearest celestial neighbor. You can view the moon with binoculars or even a small, 60 mm telescope can provide significant detail. Ed Anderson, a member of the Astronomical Society of Long Island (ASLI) and of the Custer Institute, will discuss the best times to view the Moon as well as observing tools. He will also identify interesting things to look for, including the Apollo landing sights. After the presentation Ed will be available for Q&A and if the weather is clear, he will open the ASLI dome on the grounds of Custer Observatory which houses a 14” Meade LX200 computerized telescope. Weather permitting, Custer Observatory staff will also give tours of the night sky through the Zerochromat telescope in the main observatory dome and other powerful telescopes on site. Feel free to bring your own binoculars or telescope to look through after the presentation. Or just enjoy the view from ours!

Suggested Donation: $5 Adults, $3 Children Under 12, Members FREE.
Reserve your seat today!
  August 2019
Saturday,
August 3
8pm

Lecture - Observing the Gas Giants: Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter is the king of the planets because it is the largest in our solar system and Saturn is the rock star because of its beautiful rings. Using binoculars we can see 4 of Jupiter’s moons which are in different positions every night. And some of Saturn's moons can be seen through a telescope.

Ed Anderson, a member of the Astronomical Society of Long Island (ASLI) and of the Custer Institute, will provide tips on how to get the most out of your observing of these two planets as well as tools and techniques that will help you see more.

After the session, if the weather is good, he will open the ASLI dome on the grounds of Custer Observatory and turn the 14” telescope on Jupiter as he discusses the view and answers questions. Weather permitting, Custer Observatory staff will also give tours of the night sky through the Zerochromat telescope in the main observatory dome and other powerful telescopes on site. Feel free to bring your own binoculars or telescope to look through after the presentation. Or just enjoy the view from ours!<br>
Suggested donation: $5 Adults, $3 Children under 12

Saturday,
August 10
8PM

BLOW UP HOLLYWOOD performs DUST FROM THE STARS

This critically-acclaimed group will perform works from their newest, unreleased album which reflects on the cosmos and our journey and genesis from stardust to our current state of being. Fittingly, this concert occurs as the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower nears, when the Earth passes through the dust left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle. This dramatic meteor shower can be viewed with the naked eye. Following the concert (weather permitting), guests will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse at the burning dust from Comet Swift-Tuttle as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere (bring a blanket or chair) and to look through the many telescopes on site, guided by expert staff.

Blow Up Hollywood is an underground American ambient art-rock collective. 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. Blow Up Hollywood has created an expansive and adventurous body of work that manages to be both highly emotionally charged and majestically anonymous.

$15 Advance/$20 at the door. $12 Members. $10 Children under 16.

Saturday,
August 24

Starfest (Jamboree), Details coming!


  September 2019

Saturday,

Events coming!


  October 2019

Saturday,
October 5

 International Observe the Moon Night.  Details coming.


  November 2019

Saturday,

Events coming!


  December 2019

Saturday,

Events coming!



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.