Welcome to the Custer Institute & Observatory

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

Support Custer through General Donations, Building & Restoration Project, and by becoming a Member!

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, exhibit room, and gift shop. Frequent lectures, classes,concerts, art exhibits and other special events.






Updated: 08/06/22

The fight to preserve the night sky on the North Fork

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.


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.
Saturday,
Aug 13

4:30 pm

Custer Board Meeting.

Members welcome.
Saturday,
Aug 13

8:30 pm

 

Raindate:
Aug 20th

8:30 PM

THE INVISIBLE UNIVERSE.

aug13

Discover the mysteries of our universe in this outdoor presentation!

A large portion of the universe cannot be seen by the human eye, or even with very large optical telescopes. But radio and gravity waves can be detected, helping us unravel the mysteries of space and time.

We are now exploring the universe in wavelengths well beyond the human eye and the latest non-visible schemes, using gravity waves as predicted by Albert Einstein. Only recently, have these predictions made by Einstein been proven to be true. See what we now have come to learn about our invisible universe!

The presenter, Steven Bellavia, is currently the principal mechanical engineer for the camera on the Vera Rubin telescope (formerly called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, LSST) at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he has worked since 1992. Prior to that, Steve was doing research and engineering for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory. As an aerospace engineer for Grumman Aerospace with the Thermodynamics Group of the Space Division he played a key role in developing a nuclear rocket engine and with the design, fabrication, and analysis of a micro-gravity liquid droplet radiator that flew on Space Shuttle mission STS-029.

Steve has been recognized for the discovery of the Clair Obscure effect "Lunar L", which is described in the December 2018 issue of Astronomy magazine. He is also an assistant adjunct professor of astronomy and physics at Suffolk County Community College and the Astronomy Education and Outreach Coordinator at Custer Institute and Observatory.

Following the presentation, Observatory staff will provide guided tours of the night sky (weather permitting) through the many telescopes on site, including the apochromatic Zerochromat telescope in our historic observation dome.

$5 Adult, $3 Children Under 16, Observatory Members FREE. Your donations make it possible to offer programs like these and are greatly appreciated. Due to limited space, registration is strongly encouraged.

A rain date for this outdoor program is scheduled for August 20 at 8:30pm. Please bring a blanket or chair to enjoy this outdoor presentation.

register

Friday,
Aug 19

9 pm

DISCOVER THE NORTH FORK NIGHT SKY AT SOUND VIEW GREENPORT.

oct2

Group for the East End and Custer Institute and Observatory invite you to explore and learn about the North Fork's dark skies on the beach at Sound View Greenport. Join us for this unique opportunity!

With the sand beneath your feet on the beautiful Long Island Sound, catch a glimpse of Nebulae, Galaxies and other deep sky objects visible this season in a guided tour of the night sky using powerful telescopes. In addition to learning about our universe, hear about the amazing local wildlife that we share our night skies with and how we can help protect them. From owls to bats to moths, the night comes alive!

Custer Institute and Observatory is Long Island’s oldest public observatory (est. 1927), located on Main Bayview Rd in Southold, beneath some of Long Island's darkest skies. Group for the East End is a local environmental organization focused on education, advocacy and conservation of Long Island’s East End.

$15 Adult, $8 Children 12 and Under. Attendance is limited so reserve your spot soon! All proceeds benefit Custer Institute and Group for the East End.

To learn more about Group for the East End visit www.groupfortheeastend.org.

register
Friday,
Sept 2

6 pm

CUSTER HONEY BEE CLUB MEET.

oct2

Join us for our Honey Bee Club monthly meeting!

Custer's Honey Bee Club is a group of enthusiastic beekeepers and bee lovers who get together once a month to share their honey bee experiences and learn from each other about how to keep bees, sustainable bee practices and hive management. At these informal meetings, you will have a chance to meet and mingle with beekeepers of all levels, from the novice beekeeper to the professional. Custer Institute has a community bee yard and other facilities that allows for hands-on collaborative learning and demonstrations and which is surrounded by a beautiful arboretum. Not yet a beekeeper, but want to learn what beekeeping is all about? Are you a backyard beekeeper looking for other backyard beekeepers? Or a professional beekeeper interested in getting involved with the growing North Fork beekeeping movement? Come join us!

FREE to attend. We ask that you register in advance as this will guide our preparations and plans for the meeting. Registration is not required to attend.
register
Saturday,
Sept 10

4:30 pm

Custer Board Meeting.

Members welcome.
Saturday,
Sept 10

8 pm

 

Raindate:
Sept 24th

8 pm

EXPLORING & NAVIGATING THE AUTUMN NIGHT SKY.

sept10

Learn how to explore and navigate the autumn night sky, including the fall constellations, and stories behind them!

As summer winds down and Autumn approaches, a new host of celestial wonders graces the night sky. Staring up at the star-filled sky is awesome and humbling. It can also be overwhelming and disorienting. Throughout history, the night sky has served many functions to humanity- a clock, a calendar, a compass, a map and even a story book. Join stargazing lecturer Randall DiGiuseppe of the Custer Institute & Observatory for an evening of learning the basics of navigating the night sky as well as learning the locations and the folklore behind the most prominent constellations of the Fall.

Learn how to spot the North Star, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the stories behind Autumn’s most popular constellations. You will learn your way around the night sky and how to use it to orient yourself from almost anywhere on Earth.

This event is being held outdoors and is open to everyone. Just bring an inquisitive mind, a blanket or chair and your imagination.

Randall DiGiuseppe is a professional artist, lecturer, telescope builder and amateur astronomer for over four decades. He is a lifetime member of the Custer Institute and Observatory and recipient of the Astronomical League’s Messier Award. He conducts lectures on the dynamics, history and art of the night sky throughout the country.

Following the presentation, Observatory staff will provide guided tours of the night sky (weather permitting) through the many telescopes on site, including the apochromatic Zerochromat telescope in our historic observation dome.

$5 Adult, $3 Children Under 16, Observatory Member FREE. Your donations make it possible to offer programs like these and are greatly appreciated. Due to limited space, registration is strongly encouraged.

A rain date for this outdoor program is scheduled for September 24 at 8:00pm. Please bring a blanket or chair to enjoy the presentation.

register

Saturday,
Oct 08

4:30 pm

Custer Board Meeting.

Members welcome.

NASA 2022: The Future is Now

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.