Welcome to the Custer Institute & Observatory

Long Island's oldest public observatory (est. 1927)

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

Calling all Makers!

Observing, making, fixing, playing, and more!

Earth is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old, and for much of that history it has been home to life in one weird form or another. Indeed, some scientists think life appeared the moment our planet's environment was stable enough to support it.

Similarly, the right conditions have come together at Custer, not to make life (well, not yet anyway), but to give life, and space, to the ever-evolving Maker Culture.

Since its earliest days, Custer has always had an element of being a Maker Space; from mirror grinding and telescope design and construction, to creative repairs to Custer’s buildings and equipment. Plumbing, carpentry, electrical, and more. Custer members tend to be a creative and diverse bunch.

More recently, we have more programmers, engineers, and designers, each with their own talents.

Discussions of 3D printers is on the rise,and will likely to continue as more and more members use them to work on both private projects and in designing and printing various parts for Custer. There are also a variety of electronics projects and repairs going on as members have time.

Currently there is no formal Maker Space (other than around the table upstairs and the workshop downstairs) but we are here and will likely remain at Custer from here on.

I expect more and more replacement parts and customizaions to Custer’s equipment to be 3D printed or fitted with custom electronics.

It makes perfect sense for Custer to nurture and support an evolving Maker Culture.
This is our space.