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: 10/12/Two Thousand Nineteen

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.
  What's Up - October 2019
  November 2019

November 9


It is the time of year when people are thinking about holiday gifts for others or for themselves. Ed Anderson, a member of the Astronomical Society of Long Island (ASLI) and of the Custer Institute, will provide insights as to what you need to know and understand before buying your first telescope. He will discuss what they cost, the different types of telescopes, where and how you store them and how you would transport them. There will be time for questions and answers at the end of the presentation. Whether your budget is small or large, there is a telescope out there for everyone!

After the session, if the weather is good, Ed will open the ASLI dome on the grounds of Custer Observatory and turn the 14” Meade telescope on the wonders of the sky, selecting showcase targets for your enjoyment. 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, if you have one, to look through after the presentation. Or just enjoy the view from ours!

  December 2019

December 14

Custer Christmas Party

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.