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: 08/14/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.



  Summer Events with our Friends!
Announcing the Southold Indian Museum SPECIAL EXHIBIT,
Every Sunday, until September 2
Revolutionary War on Long Island: The Native American Perspective

Get all the details here.

  August 2018 Events at Custer
Saturday, 18 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
STEINWAY & STARGAZING featuring STEVEN LEONARD MESSINA and THAD DEBROCK of BLOW UP HOLLYWOOD.
Tickets: $75 in advance / $95 at the door

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

Saturday, 25

9:30am
Work Party!

Calling all hands! We're going to do general maintenance, clean up, painting Custer's trim, trimming bushes - and anything around Custer that needs tending to. No talent goes to waste!

Saturday, 25

7:30 PM

Mars night!

A presentation and observing - details coming!
Friday 31 Members' Night: Last Friday each month.
Members and their guests only. (Public tours are Saturday nights)

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
Friday-Sunday, 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.