Custer Observatory

Custer Observatory '' Custer Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by Custer Institute. Located in Southold, New York (US), facing Peconic Bay and Shelter Island, Custer's location boasts some of the darkest skies on Long Island.Long Island's oldest public observatory, Custer Institute was founded in 1927 by Charles Wesley Elmer (co-founder of the Perkin-Elmer Optical Company), along with a group of fellow amateur-astronomers.

The name was adopted to honor the hospitality of Mrs. Elmer, the Grand Niece of General George Armstrong Custer. In 1942, the Custer Institute was incorporated as a non-profit educational corporation in the State of New York.In 1938, the group purchased the land the institute presently occupies and initial construction was completed in the spring of 1939. The 100-seat lecture hall was added in 1945. In 1947, through donations by Charles Elmer and Mr. Polk, the 3-story tower/library and observatory dome were built. In 1954, Charles Elmer died; that same year, the Institute added the shed, which houses three sliding roof observatories. Over the years, Custer has acquired a large collection of telescopes of all sizes and descriptions. Most recently, this includes a 25-inch (f/5) Newtonian reflector, which is now the premier telescope in the newly-rebuilt dome.(Article not found) In order to bring the eyepiece of this telescope to a level that does not require observers to climb a high ladder, the optics on this telescope were modified by Custer's Research Director, Jeffrey Owen Katz, Ph.D., and Research Committee Member, Justine Haupt.

Operating as usual


Southold, NY


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