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: 03/23/Two Thousand Twenty

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 - March 2020
Saturday,
April 4

Closed (see banner at top of page).

Sundays
3pm:

April 5

"THE BEGINNER BEEKEEPER."
Presented by Master Bee Keeper, Chris Kelly

Class has been moved to a live web platform. The classroom link will be sent to all students via email; if you have not received the link, email Anne at anne.verticchio@gmail.com.


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

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.  Classes will be held at 8 HANDS FARM in Southold on the third Sunday of each month at 3:00pm, beginning April 19.  Registration must be made at 8 Hands Farm.  This class is limited to 12 students, so register soon!

Enrollment Fee: $225. Observatory Member $195.



Saturday,
April 11


Custer BOD Meeting, 4:30.
Closed (see banner at top of page).

Saturday,
May 2


Astronomy Day!
Noon - Midnight

Details coming...
Saturday,
May 9


Custer BOD Meeting, 4:30.
Memebers welcome.

Saturday,
June 6
7pm

The Rites of Spring Music Festival presents COUNTERPOINT.


This concert presents a range of pieces for solo cello and electronics. Each piece places the cello in conversation with an altered version of itself. Each work differently approaches the dialogue between the live instrument and technology, via transformation, replication, repetition, and amplification. The soloist variously interacts with expanded, manipulated cello sounds, followed by samples, or accompanied by an ensemble of pre-recorded cellos. With the exception of the Bach prelude, the works on this concert were all written after 2003.

Music Program:
  • Three Shades Foreshadows (for prepared cello and playback) 11' - Andy Akiho
  • On being wrong (for cello and electronics) 7' - Chris Cerrone
  • Light is calling (for cello and electronics) 7' - Michael Gordon
  • Cello Suite in D minor 20' - J.S. Bach
  • Cello Counterpoint (for cello and playback) 12' - Steve Reich

American cellist Mariel Roberts is widely recognized not just for her virtuosic performances, but as a“fearless explorer” in her field (Chicago Reader). Her ravenous appetite for collaboration and experimentation as an interpreter, improvisor, and composer have helped create a body of work which bridges avant-garde, contemporary, classical, improvised, and traditional music. Roberts is widely recognized for her “technical and interpretive mastery” (I care if you listen) and for performances which see the with “excruciating intensity” (The Whole Note).

Roberts has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across four continents, most notably as a member and co-director of the Wet Ink Ensemble (named “The Best Classical Music Ensemble of 2018” by The New York Times), as well as with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Mivos Quartet, Bang on a Can All Stars, and Ensemble Signal. She performs regularly on major stages for new music such as the Lincoln Center Festival (NYC), Wien Modern (Austria), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Cervantino Festival (Mexico), Klang Festival (Denmark), Shanghai New Music Week (China), Darmstadt Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), and Aldeburgh Music Festival (UK). Roberts has been featured wide variety of outstanding recordings,and has released two solo albums of new works commissioned for her. The first, “Nonextraneous Sounds” (2012), was noted for it's “technical flair and exquisite sensitivity” (Composers Forum). 2017's “Cartography” (2017), solidified Roberts' position as “one of the most adventurous figures on New York’s new music scene—one with a thorough grounding in classical tradition but a ravenous appetite for and tireless discipline in new work.” (Bandcamp). Her close collaborators have spanned a wide range of genres and include some of the most important figures on the contemporary and experimental scene, such as George Lewis, Alex Mincek, Tim Hecker, Nate Wooley, M. Lamar, Patrick Higgins (Zs), Ingrid Laubrock, Jeffrey Mumford, Sam Pluta, Eric Wubbels, and Ambrose Akinmusire.

Stargazing (weather permitting) through Custer Observatory's telescopes and guided by expert staff will follow the concert.

Adults $35, Observatory Members $30, Children Under 16 FREE.


Saturday,
June 13


Custer BBQ Annual Meeting, 4:30.
Memebers welcome.

Saturday,
July 11


Custer BOD Meeting, 4:30.
Memebers welcome.

Saturday,
Aug 8


Custer BOD Meeting, 4:30.
Memebers welcome.

Saturday,
August
14-15


Star Fest Jamboree!
Friday 6pm - midnight
Saturday noon - midnight

Details coming...

Saturday,
Sept 12


Custer BOD Meeting, 4:30.
Memebers welcome.

Saturday,
Oct 10


Custer BOD Meeting, 4:30.
Memebers welcome.

Saturday,
Nov 14


Custer BOD Meeting, 4:30.
Memebers welcome.

Saturday,
Dec 19


Custer Christmas Party! 4pm.
Memebers welcome.

Details coming...


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.