Welcome to the Custer Institute

Weather permitting, Saturday Night Observing is from 8pm to midnight
where volunteer Staff provide guided tours of the sky.
Clouds, fog, rain, and full moon nights are not good nights for observing,
but are good nights for indoor projects and maintenance.

Check the moon-phase calendar here.

Doors open at 7pm
Weather permitting, we observe from dark until Midnight.

We depend on your generous donations
which are gratefully Accepted.

For those of us remaining in Southold during the Eclipse, it will appear like the video in this link.
Begining about 1:30pm and ending around 4pm.

August 2017  
10 Registration for Town of Southold Program begins for "Astronomy Basics at Custer Institute" (see September below for details)

Peak of the Perseid meteor shower and yes, Custer is open this night!

This annual meteor shower probably ranks as everyone's all-time favorite. You don't use telescopes or binoculars to watch a meteor shower. Bring what you would as if you were going to watch fireworks: a beach chair or blanket, some snacks (wine & cheese anyone?). Now, just lay back and watch the show! This shower often produces 50 or more meteors per hour.

Where to look? Primarily in the north-east part of the sky (near the constellation Perseus for which they were named), and the zenith (the point in the sky directly above you).

19 7pm Movie presentation: All about solar eclipses.
21 (mon)

Solar Eclipse Event. 1pm-4pm

North American Solar Eclipse Day. We will be open to observe the 70% eclipse of the Sun by the moon.
Plan an eclipse trip ...or just watch this.

September 2017  
6:00pm  The Transitions Saxophone Quartet performs "A Little Night Music".
This performance will feature music inspired by nightfall spanning multiple genres and composers from Mozart to Thelonius Monk.  Join us for this compilation of music inspired by the stars.  $10 Non-Members, $8 Members, Children FREE.
6:00pm  Concert in the Dome with John Joe Michael Roarty

This 2010 national guitar competition winner will demonstrate his mastery of the instrument and talent for composition in this magical, intimate performance held inside our 22' observation dome.  Seating inside the dome is extremely limited; reserve yours by purchasing tickets early at the link below.  Stargazing will follow beginning at nightfall. Non-Members $15, Members $12, Children $10 at the door.
Mondays & Wednesdays
11,13,18, & 20

Town of Southold Scheduled Program AT Custer:
Astronomy Basics at Custer Institute
For adults 16 and older
08/10/2017 - 09/30/2017
Register now through the town of Southold begining August 10

Astronomy Basics at Custer Institute with George Lomaga and Matt Campbell Take your stargazing to the next level with this introduction to basic astronomy offered at the Custer Institute in Southold. This program will cover the major topics of astronomy with an emphasis on those celestial objects that are easiest to observe. Those will include the constellations, planets, comets, meteor showers, as well as an overview of various deep sky objects such as distant galaxies and nebula. How the night sky changes through the year will also be covered. When weather permits, students will be invited to the Custer Institute dome after the class to view night sky objects through their state-of-the-art Zerochromat refracting telescope. A $5 materials fee due on the first might will cover Starfinders and charts.

Southold Resident Fee: $35
Non-Resident Fee: $45


9am-4pm  CUSTER COMMUNITY SERVICE -  AARP DEFENSIVE DRIVING CLASS taught by Jim Bowden. Contact Jim for details and reservations – jmsbowden34@gmail.com


Join us for this exhibition of original works by artists Nick Cordone, Cynthia Padgett, and Randall DiGiuseppe, inspired by the night sky.  The opening night reception will be accompanied by local wine and cheese tasting, "meet the artists" opportunity and live chamber ensemble.  Following the reception, view the stars through our new Zerochromat telescope and other telescopes on site.  The exhibit will run through November 5th.  Art pieces will be available for purchase, a portion of which sales will benefit the Observatory Fund.  FREE.

October 2017  

Rob Schwimmer, Theremin and Haken Continuum

Theremin virtuoso, Rob Schwimmer, will educate, demonstrate and perform works on the theremin and a relatively new instrument called the Haken Continuum.  Star gazing (weather permitting) will follow.

Suggested Donation: Non-Members $15, Members $12, Children $10

21 7pm Reminiscing with the Custer old timers. Moderated by past president George Lomaga, come and take in the history and stories of Custer Institute from senior members going back many decades. They're not getting any younger - this may not happen again!


Scary Ghost stories, Séance, music, candy, costume contest, dancing and observing – BOO! 


November 2017


Custer Annual Astronomy Jamboree Weekend

A Custer tradition with distinguished speakers, workshops, dinner, poetry, and astronomer networking and of course, viewing.  A gathering of experts you don’t want to miss!

December 2017  
8 All about telescopes and what to look for when buying one. Just in time for a Christmas gift! Annual presentation by Jeff Norwood of Camera Concepts
2018 !

Astronomy Day: 2018:    April 14   (new moon April 15)   

Jamboree: 2018    November 2-3-4

Updated 08/17/17 with Kompozer running on Debian Linux

As the days grow longer, the night comes later.
Remember, Custer is run by volunteers,
Custer will open at 7pm.
Observing from the dome will begin after 8pm.

See you then!
Please be patient and mindful that our staff are volunteers, mostly amateur astronomers; they are not paid professionals. All will do their best to make your visit pleasant and educational.

Weather Permitting:

Saturday Night Observing, open to public, 7pm to midnight, weather permitting Staff provide guided tours of the sky. Clouds, fog, rain, and full moon nights are not good nights. The less moon, the better for most observing.
Check the moon calendar.
Plan your visit by reading this.


At Custer

Membership & Business

Sponsors, Clubs, & other Astronomical Organizations