It’s beautiful and relaxing to just look up at the night sky. Gaze up at the lit up sky with its masses of twinkling stars - which you can see even though they are light years away. Star gazing gives people an opportunity to reflect and be contemplative about the beauty of nature and the many wonders and mysteries that our universe holds.
Long Island may seem too populated and light polluted to be an amazing star gazing location, but Long Island has many super star gazing spots for viewers to bask in the dazzling night sky sights. Whether you decide to go by yourself, take a date for a romantic evening, or bring the whole family and learn something new together, the Island has the perfect star gazing spot for you.
In forewarning, before you decide to go out star gazing make sure you go on a night when it is clear, cloudless, and not hazy or rainy. These conditions lessen visibility and you want to go when you can see the most and get the most out of your visit. A full moon is also bad for looking at stars. The fuller the moon the bigger and brighter it is washing out everything else around it in the night sky.
Custer Observatory – The Custer Observatory, located in Southold, offers visitors a unique opportunity to spend Saturday nights (9 PM to midnight from May through August) looking up at the stars. The Custer Observatory is the oldest observatory on the Island from circa 1927. Take a tour of the facilities and let the knowledgeable staff be your guide to the night sky.
Robert Moses State Park – Located in Babylon, Robert Moses State Park offers star gazing permits for those who wish to frequent their property and take advantage of its prime location. Permits are $30 for NYS registered vehicles and $55 for out of state registered vehicles. This is also a popular spot for local star observer societies so you may luck out and go on a night they are having one of their meetings, then you can learn a little more about what you’re gazing up at.
Vanderbilt Museum – The museum has year-round viewings of the night sky in Centerport on Fridays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. If you purchase a planetarium show ticket the observatory uses are free but if you do not then it costs $3. Viewings are always weather permitting so always remember the forewarning from earlier!
Montauk & the Hamptons - The eastern forks of Long Island are the best spots to star gaze. As you go further out on the Island the less light pollution there is. Check each town’s regulations and information about which beaches and parks allow the public to use their facilities at night so you can take advantage of the darker side of the Long Island sky.
What are some other great star gazing spots you know of on Long Island?