Picture Stockton...After Dark

After Dark

Galloway, N.J. - Countless cell phones and cameras have captured photos as the sun sinks beneath the treeline along Lake Fred. Stockton sunsets are an Osprey tradition, but the lesser known Stockton after dark offers equally incredible views and opportunities. 

A Pinelands campus offers dark skies for star gazing and astrophotography and a unique setting for student events and science exploration. 

This photo series takes viewers on a long exposure journey through the woods to watch stars trailing through the sky and offers a close-up view of nighttime nature. 

Photo story by Susan Allen 

fred sunset

Every Osprey should witness the colorful transformation of the sky that reflects onto Lake Fred at sunset. For those who stay a little longer on a clear night, the stars offer another sight. 



Stockton's Marine Field Station is situated along the saltmarsh banks of Nacote Creek. On humid, summer nights the grasses glow with neon flashes coming from lightening bugs showing off to attract a mate. The above image captures 40 minutes of the sparkling saltmarsh phenomenon. 



Whether you are an aspiring astronomer or a stargazing hobbyist, the Harold E. Taylor Observatory will get you closer to outer space. Students recently worked to refurbish the observatory in their quest to reach for the stars. In-person celestial viewing sessions have paused during the pandemic, but the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics looks forward to resuming those sessions. 


star trail

On a clear night in March, the stars drew circular trails in the sky over the Dark Path as the Earth rotated on its axis


bug lamp

Over the summer, Aaron Stoler, assistant professor of Environmental Science, visited Jamie Cromartie, associate professor emeritus of Entomology, for a livestream event highlighting insects that are active at night. "An Evening at the Bug Lamp," was hosted on Facebook Live. A light shining on a white sheet lured a variety of moths and other insects for observation.  


The sounds of a cicada chorus can be loud on summer days. This particular specimen landed on the observation sheet. 



Stockton after dark offers a peaceful and calm atmosphere for refection and remembrance. Paper lanterns with messages to loved ones lost to cancer floated on Lake Fred under the moonlight during Kappa Sigma’s Light Up Lake Fred benefit for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults in 2018. Traditionally, the Suicide Prevention Team also waits for dusk for their Suicide Prevention Walk that shines 1,100 candles to represent the number of college students who die by suicide each year. 


lake pam

Don't forget to visit Lake Pam. This crystal clear body of water was created during the construction of the Garden State Parkway when sand was dug out leaving behind a pit. Jack Connor has the full story on the lake's formation on his blog, Stockton's Natural World.