Welcome to the Custer Institute

The Custer Institute and Observatory is Long Island's oldest public observatory (est.1927). Open to the public every Saturday evening from dark until midnight, our staff of volunteers will give you a tour of the facilities and the night sky through our powerful telescopes. Custer has frequent lectures, classes,concerts, art exhibits and other special events. Consider our observatory for your next meeting or theme party.

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Photo by Steve Bellavia
M97 (owl Nebula, NGC3587) and M108 (Surfboard galaxy, NGC 3556) Southold, NY, March 12th, 2015, 9:30PM to 11:30PM EDT

The Owl Nebula (M97, NGC 3587) is a planetary nebula located approximately 2,030 light years away in the constellation Ursa Major.
The surfboard galaxy, (M108,NGC 3556) is a barred spiral galaxy, 45 million light years from Earth, also found in the constellation Ursa Major.

Camera: Canon EOS SL1
Scope: Astronomics 6-inch f/4 Imaging Newtonian (with EZ-Finder Deluxe reflex finder to approximately locate object and then did 20 second at ISO 12800 trial-and-error/slewing, until found object and centered it). Baader multi-purpose Coma corrector. (no change in focal length). This gives an image scale of 112 x 75 arc-minutes.
Mount: A Celestron CG5 (No computer or guidescope capability).
Total of 89, 60 second exposures, ISO 3200 (1/4 max for that camera) 10 dark frames, no bias or flat frames

As the days get cooler, the night comes earlier. However, remembering that Custer is run by volunteers, despite the time of darkness, Custer will open at 7pm. Observing from the dome will begin after 8pm. See you then!

Weather Permitting:

Saturday Night Observing, open to public, dark to midnight, weather permitting Staff provide guided tours of the sky. Clouds, fog, rain, and full moon nights are not good nights. The less moon, the better for most observing. Check the moon calendar. Plan your visit by reading this.

Updated: March 15, Two Thousand Fifteen
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