You are here

McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory, a research unit of The University of Texas at Austin, is one of the world’s leading centers for astronomical research, teaching, and public education and outreach. Observatory facilities are located atop Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, which offer some of the darkest night skies in the continental United States.

Resources

Radio Programs

Post-War Astronomy Preparing for post-war astronomy September 1, 2020

Proxima Centauri C Digging up a new planet August 24, 2020

Moon and Saturn Learning about a hidden moon June 8, 2020

Rescue! One scientist rescues another May 16, 2020

‘Windy’ Galaxies Busy galaxies that underperform March 25, 2020

Distant Planet Planet-hunting patience pays off July 25, 2019

Lunar Laser Aiming a laser pointer at the Moon July 22, 2019

Off to War Charging off to war June 3, 2019

New Telescope A cold kickoff for a big telescope November 26, 2018

Moon and Aldebaran Chilling a distant planet November 22, 2018

Van Biesbroeck’s Star A feeble stellar discovery October 27, 2018

Moon and Aldebaran The Moon inches farther away April 18, 2018

Early Light Looking for “fog” in the early universe December 15, 2017

Seeing Deep Looking deep into the early universe November 21, 2017

Giant Magellan Telescope II Getting to know distant planets August 10, 2017

HET Upgrade Upgrading a giant telescope August 8, 2017

Spying on Supernovae Keeping many eyes on exploding stars May 22, 2017

HETDEX A new look at ancient galaxies April 9, 2017

Dark Energy One of the great mysteries of the universe April 8, 2017

Giant Cannibal A giant star becomes a cannibal March 16, 2017

Super Supernovae Making a super-duper supernova January 16, 2017

NGC 1600 A plain galaxy with a dark heart December 14, 2016

War Work Soldiering through a war December 8, 2016

More Reionization An early light in the young universe November 4, 2016

Galactic Grid Plotting the galaxy and beyond August 30, 2016

The Great War, IV War changes an astronomer’s destiny May 12, 2016

Robotic Telescopes Robots take over the telescopes April 26, 2016

Featured Images

The moons Titan and Dione in front of Saturn

Hazy Moon June 8, 2020

Harlan J. Smith Telescope

Golden Anniversary November 26, 2018

Artist's concept of Giant Magellan Telescope

New Giant August 9, 2017

Twilight over McDonald Observatory

A Civil Sky June 18, 2017

Evening view of Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory

A New Era April 9, 2017

Sunset over the Davis Mountains

Earliest Sunsets December 1, 2016

Artist's concept of a young Jupiter-like planet

Young Giant August 27, 2015

Otto Struve, first director of McDonald Observatory

First Director May 8, 2014

Autographs from the dedication of McDonald Observatory

Who's Who May 7, 2014

Construction of McDonald Observatory's 82-inch telescope, ca. 1934

Celebrating May 6, 2014

Participants in the McDonald Observatory dedication, May 5, 1939

Getting Started May 5, 2014

Diagram showing the layouts of several exoplanet systems

Going Farther April 30, 2014

Artist's concept of a range of recently discovered exoplanets

Planet Hunting April 28, 2014

A discharge of energy from the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories

Zapped! February 3, 2014

An early view of the primary mirror of McDonald Observatory's first telescope

Seeing the Light December 31, 2013

Technicians replace equipment for HETDEX at McDonald Observatory

On (and Off) Track November 4, 2013

Artist's concept of the Gamma Cephei star system

Stellar Geometry September 4, 2012

Horsehead Nebula photographed through a McDonald Observatory telescope

3D Horsehead December 20, 2011

Artist's concept of upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Facelift for Science June 3, 2011

Comet Hartley-2 from McDonald Observatory

Jolly Green Comet October 21, 2010

Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory

Searching the Darkness October 15, 2010