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: 11/10/Two Thousand Nineteen

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.



<

Check back often for the lastest information regarding programs and news.

  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.
  What's Up - November 2019
  December 2019

Saturday,
December 14
4:00 pm


"Holiday Party Under the Stars"
with Live Jazz by Ahmad Ali & Friends

Join us for a holiday celebration under the stars! Dinner will be offered, prepared by Custer Observatory's own Chef Cardona, followed by a performance at 6:00pm of live jazz by Ahmad Ali and Friends. Ahmad Ali is an accomplished jazz and R&B singer, songwriter and guitarist and host of WUSB’s radio show Cafe Ali. Stargazing (weather permitting) will follow.

Suggested Donation -

Dinner & Music: $15 Adults, $12 Observatory Members, $10 Children Under 12.
Concert Only (6:00pm): $5 Adults, Observatory Members & Children Under 12 FREE.



Saturday,
January 25
7:00 pm


"STARTING IN BEEKEEPING"
PRESENTED BY MASTER BEEKEEPER CHRIS KELLY.

Local Master Beekeeper Chris Kelly will present a one hour lecture on some of the basics of beekeeping. Topics covered will include: the cost of getting started, equipment selection, site or hive placement considerations, and a brief overview of the beekeeping calendar year. Chris will also provide information on  purchasing bees & equipment. Q & A follows.

Chris Kelly is a Cornell Master Beekeeper and a Cornell University trained entomologist with 49 years of experience keeping bees. As a former professional beekeeper, he helped develop connections with the leading researchers in Apiculture and maintains a perspective on the pressures of keeping bees today. Chris is the owner of North Fork Promise Land Apiaries, a sustainably managed operation in Mattituck, NY. He owns and manages over 200 bee hives and is a consultant for clients along much of the eastern seaboard. His professional and academic beekeeping credentials has given him personal access to the brightest minds in Apiculture and this knowledge he brings to educating the next generation of beekeepers.

Stargazing will follow the presentation (weather permitting).

Suggested Donation $5 adults, $3 Children under 12.



  January 2020

SUNDAYS,
Jan 26,
Feb 9,
Feb 23,
March 8,
March 22, &
April 5
3:00pm


THE BEGINNER BEEKEEPER.
A 6-Part class held on Sundays at 3pm

This six part class will be taught by local Master Beekeeper Chris Kelly and is an introduction to getting started in beekeeping. Sessions will be held on Jan 26, Feb 9, Feb 23, March 8, March 22 and April 5. The class will cover what is involved in working with bees, knowing what to look for and what to expect. The first two classes will review planning your bee yard, equipment selection, and learning the basics of bee biology. The second two classes will deal with bee pests & diseases. The final two classes will tie in record keeping of your bee yard and the importance of GDD, bloom sequence, and the bee population curve. By the end of this series the beginner will have a complete tool kit of knowledge to be able to start and keep their bee hives with success.

Chris Kelly is a Cornell Master Beekeeper and a Cornell University trained entomologist with 49 years of experience keeping bees. As a former professional beekeeper, he helped develop connections with the leading researchers in Apiculture and maintains a perspective on the pressures of keeping bees today. Chris is the owner of North Fork Promise Land Apiaries, a sustainably managed operation in Mattituck, NY. He owns and manages over 200 bee hives and is a consultant for clients along much of the eastern seaboard. His professional and academic beekeeping credentials has given him personal access to the brightest minds in Apiculture and this knowledge he brings to educating the next generation of beekeepers.

A recommended textbook is: The Beekeepers Handbook 4th edition by Diana Sammataro & Alphonse Avitabile

Enrollment Fee: $225. Observatory Member $195.

Because beekeeping is one part science and one part art, it is strongly recommended that those who take part in this lecture series take the follow-up hands-on field class that will meet once a month from April-Oct. Dates and location TBA.





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.