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: 07/16/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.



  2 Summer Events with our Friends!
Announcing the Southold Indian Museum SPECIAL EXHIBIT,
Sundays in July & August!
Revolutionary War on Long Island: The Native American Perspective


Their exhibit will focus on interactions between Long Island Native American tribes and the British Army and Colonial Army during the Revolutionary War. These interactions took the form of alignments, trading, and possibly seizure of goods and services by the British.

Stop by the Museum on Sunday afternoons in July and August to see this exhibit as well as our other unique items on display. While you are at the Museum you can see the latest additions to our gift shop and sign up to be a member. Thank you for your support!

Southold Indian Museum
PO Box 268
1080 Main Bayview Rd
Southold NY 11971
indianmuseum@optonline.net
631-765-5577
Summer Sundays at Brookhaven Lab!

Experience hands-on discovery
Meet the scientists
Visit our world-class facilities
Enjoy science talks & shows

Gates open 10am to 3pm
Handicapped accessible
1.5 miles north of LIE Exit 68
(631) 344-2651

Sunday, July 22
Exploring the Ultra Small
Tour the Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

Sunday, July 29
Brilliant Light, Dazzling Discoveries
Visit the National Synchrotron Light Source II.

Sunday, August 5
Atom-smashing Fun*
Explore the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.
*Facility tour appropriate for ages 10 and over.

  July 2018
Saturday 21 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
STEINWAY AND STARGAZING featuring THE NOFO TRIO

This musical program is the third 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. 

Piece en Forme de Habanera - Maurice Ravel
Song Without Words - Felix Mendelssohn
Nocturne - Lili Boulanger
Sonata No. 5 in e minor - Antonio Vivaldi
Sonata in D Minor, K. 517 - Domenico Scarlatti
Impromptu No. 2 in F Sharp Major, Op. 36 - Frederic Chopin

An after concert reception follows the concert with wine tasting and passed hors d'oeuvres by Grace & Grit Catering. Stargazing at nightfall.

local farm vegetables with green goddess sauce and caramelized onion dip
bacon bites
gazpacho shooters
caprese skewer with fresh mozzarella and basil
salmon tartar on edible spoons
smoked pulled pork sliders

Tickets: $75 in advance / $95 at the door


Sunday 22 2:00pm - 5:00pm.
STEINWAY & STARGAZING featuring ELLEN JOHANSEN.

This musical program is the fourth in the Steinway & Stargazing series to benefit the Custer Observatory's Music Project. Following the concert and reception will be a private afternoon of solar stargazing (weather permitting) through the Custer Observatory's telescopes and guided by Observatory staff.

An Afternoon of Musical Contrasts

Prelude and Fugue in A Minor - J.S. Bach
Il Lamento - Franz Liszt
Fantasy Etudes for Solo Piano - John Corigliano
Grande Valse Brillante, Opus 34, No. 1 - Frédéric Chopin
Sonate Opus 1 - Alban Berg
Sonata in D Major - Herbert Rothgarber

An after concert reception follows the concert with mimosas and appetizers. Solar observing will begin concurrently.
Tickets: $55 in advance / $65 at the door

Friday 27 Members' Night: Last Friday each month. No public tours!
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.
  August 2018
Saturday, 11 7:00pm
Perseid Meteor Shower!
A presentation with Bob Farrell followed by observing


Perseus is one of the most ancient constellations in the sky. Come to hear this hero’s tale, meet his nemesis the Gorgon called Medusa, and learn why stones fall from the sky each August. His legend will be told and the reason why we’ve named a meteor shower after him will be explained. Then, if it is clear, witness the Perseid meteor shower for yourself from Custer's south lawn.

Following the presentation and weather-permitting, you will get to observe galaxies, nebulae, and perhaps a planet or two through Custer's telescopes. Feel free to bring and set up yours if you have one.

To observe the meteor shower, no telescope is ever used. All you need is what you would bring to watch a firework show - so feel free to bring blankets, lawn chairs, snacks, and bug spray to make yourself comfortable on Custer's lawn. Just lay back and look up! How many will you count?


18 7:00pm - 10:00pm.
STEINWAY & STARGAZING featuring STEVEN LEONARD MESSINA and THAD DEBROCK of BLOW UP HOLLYWOOD.

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

29 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! ​
28

7:30 PM

Mars night!

A presentation and observing - details coming!
Friday 31 Members' Night: Last Friday each month. No public tours!
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
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.