What to Do

Frosty Drew Observatory

Location

61 Park Lane Ninigret Park
Charlestown , RI 02813
401 364 9508
Photo of Frosty Drew Observatory

Frosty Drew Observatory houses a fully-automated, high-powered 16" Meade LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope linked to a computer that knows the position of approximately 64,000 deep-space objects, which (on a good night) allows both astronomers and visitors alike to observe the rings of Saturn, the Galilean moons of Jupiter, lunar geography, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and more.

The Observatory is located in Ninigret Park, which is blessed with an extraordinarily dark sky for this part of the world -- said to be the darkest between Boston and New York. Every nice Friday night (read reasonably clear; astronomers don’t mind the chill) the astronomers open the dome and offer free public viewing ($1 donation per person is appreciated) to anybody interested in observing with them. Usually, things get underway right after dark, and the night ends when the skies become unobservable or everyone leaves, which can be a late as dawn on particularly good nights.

To aid viewing, The John G Drew Sky Theatre nearby features a cathedral ceiling, one facet of which is used as a large overhead screen. Connected online to the Observatory, astronomers are able to project images that are being observed through the observatory's primary telescope onto the overhead screen in a way that can’t be achieved in a planetarium. 

To see if weather will be favorable on any given Friday, it’s best to check the website, subscribe to the mailing list or follow them on Twitter (@FrostyDrewOBSY) to receive status updates.


Photo of Frosty Drew Observatory