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




As an all-volunteer organization, we only check phone messages when we are there Saturday nights.

We hope that you thoroughly enjoy your time as our guest here at the Custer Institute Observatory's homepage. We've worked hard to insure that the homepage is thorough, accurate, enlightening, and an invaluable resource for your enjoyment of the wonderful hobby of Astronomy.

The Custer Institute, Inc. is a not for profit educational corporation chartered in New York. All the workers at the Institute are member volunteers who love Astronomy, and no one receives any compensation for all the work they do. Custer is totally supported by the small admission fees charged at some of our public events, donations by visitors, our small Gift Shop, but primarily by membership dues. It is primarily this membership contribution that allows us to maintain this wonderful facility, its buildings and grounds, and to plan and present a continuous series of educational Lectures, Seminars, Special Events, and the free weekly public viewing.

These few dollars also help us do much, much more. They help bring science and astronomy to children. They help us to upgrade our facilities, and help us buy amateur observing platforms. And, they even help pay for things as mundane as heat and light and a sorely needed parking lot.

And there is more. You will also be invited to join us for members-only functions, trips and social events. You are entitled to a vote in the affairs of the Institute and you will receive a subscription to our newsletter, the Custer Comment. The Custer Comment brings you the latest breaking astronomical news, news for the membership, and a monthly schedule of events that will keep you from missing the good times and great experiences.

But most of all, a Custer membership brings you access to an amazing group of people, Custer's members. You won't find a more gracious or more interesting group of people anywhere. With interests ranging from Astronomy to Zoology, literally from A to Z, Custer's membership has something to offer just about everyone. Custer membership can mean endless hours of stimulating conversation, kinship, and camaraderie.

While we want everyone to enjoy our web site, we hope they will come out to Southold and pay us a visit and enjoy the facilities first hand. And then comes the ultimate win-win situation: a membership in the Custer Institute.

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