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.
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Updated: 06/24/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.
|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.
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.
|Custer Board Meeting, members welcome.|
|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!
Lecture - Observing the Gas Giants: Jupiter and SaturnJupiter 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
|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.
Friday & Saturday,
Custer Institute presents a festival on all things Astronomy from Friday August 23 through Saturday August 24. This two day festival will feature fun and engaging activities for the whole family. Attend all or part of the activities and bring a tent to spend the night on our South Lawn (pre-registration required for camping). All programs will be held at Custer Observatory. Outdoor activities are subject to the weather.
$40 Family or Individual Tickets at $20 Adult, $10 Student/Senior, $10 Observatory Member
Purchase tickets online, below.
Schedule of Events
|THE MUSICAL MUSINGS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN|
Ever wonder what might be on Einstein’s playlist if iTunes was around during the turn of the 20th Century? This concert aims to provide insight into the connection between Albert Einstein, the scientist, and his passion for music. For all ages to enjoy, this performance is designed to educate and entertain listeners in an area of Einstein’s life that is not often highlighted.
Join members of The Red Door Chamber Players as they present this fun introspect into Einstein’s close relationship to classical music. They will perform selections of chamber music by the composers who inspired the Nobel Prize winner throughout his life. Experience the passion he had for his violin and how it inspired his life’s work in this lovely evening of chamber music.
Stargazing through the Observatory telescopes will follow the concert (weather permitting).
Suggested Donation: $15 Adults, $12 Observatory Member, $10 Children under 16.
| International Observe the Moon Night. Details coming.|
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.