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.


Radio Programs

John Stanley Plaskett Taking the measure of the Milky Way Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Moon and Aldebaran Patiently watching the bull’s eye Thursday, October 29, 2015
Hot Planet A world you wouldn’t want to visit Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Hunting Planets IV Patiently looking for planets Saturday, August 29, 2015
Hunting Planets III Looking for big, cold planets Friday, August 28, 2015
Hunting Planets II More nights hunting for planets Thursday, August 27, 2015
Hunting Planets Getting ready to hunt planets Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Changing Seasons Changing seasons on a cold world Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Cloudy Skies Cloudy skies on a cold moon Monday, November 10, 2014
Different Explosions Exploding stars with a difference Saturday, July 19, 2014
Zombie Stars The night of the living dead stars Thursday, July 17, 2014
McDonald at 75, V Studying the mysteries of the universe Friday, May 9, 2014
McDonald at 75, IV Probing the mysteries of the stars Thursday, May 8, 2014
McDonald at 75, III Collaboration in the name of science Wednesday, May 7, 2014
McDonald at 75, II Lawsuits, recruitment, and stars Tuesday, May 6, 2014
McDonald at 75 The start of a scientific adventure Monday, May 5, 2014
Distant Planets IV Young planets on the move Thursday, May 1, 2014
Distant Planets III A giant planet near the head of the water snake Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Distant Planets II A patient search for distant planets Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Distant Planets Looking for hard-to-find planets Monday, April 28, 2014
Pollux A “wobbly” planetary discovery Sunday, March 2, 2014
Z Machine IV Astronomy in a test tube Thursday, February 6, 2014
Z Machine III Making a star in a bottle Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Getting Started Cooking up a piece of glass Tuesday, December 31, 2013
HETDEX Update An upgrade for dark energy Monday, November 4, 2013
A New Start An observatory gets a new start Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Changing Directions A change of direction for McDonald Observatory Monday, September 2, 2013
Solar Twins II Hunting for worlds like Earth Sunday, June 2, 2013
Keeping Tabs Keeping an eye on a fuzzy foot Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Recalibrating Recalibrating a space telescope Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Small Black Holes Looking for tiny black holes Monday, February 25, 2013
First Steps Angling in on the stars Wednesday, December 5, 2012
RR Lyrae The rhythmic beat of a star Tuesday, December 4, 2012
‘Titanic’ Discoveries A big moon keeps its secrets Monday, November 19, 2012
Gamma Cephei IV Getting messy for science Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Gamma Cephei III Keeping a planet on the table Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Gamma Cephei II A gnat’s eyelash and a distant planet Monday, September 3, 2012
Giant Magellan Telescope A new “giant” eye on the universe Monday, May 14, 2012
Humid Skies Measuring the humidity on a cold world Saturday, May 5, 2012
Star in a Bottle Making a bottleful of starstuff Friday, April 13, 2012
White Dwarf Quakes Stars that “quake” in the night Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Record Breaker An unprecedented sphere of darkness Monday, February 6, 2012
Early Start Getting an astronomical head start Monday, September 12, 2011
Kepler III Two ways to find planets Saturday, August 27, 2011
Kepler II Winnowing a list of possible planets Friday, August 26, 2011
Kepler I Watching for some stars to blink Thursday, August 25, 2011
Van Biesbroeck's Star Hunting up a faint cosmic bulb Saturday, July 16, 2011
Cosmic Inflation IV Fast expansion in past and future Saturday, June 18, 2011
Cosmic Inflation III Universes without end Friday, June 17, 2011
Cosmic Inflation II A "lumpy" recipe for the universe Thursday, June 16, 2011
Cosmic Inflation Giving the universe a big push Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Telescope Facelift II Keeping a giant telescope on track Friday, June 3, 2011
Telescope Facelift A facelift in the name of science Thursday, June 2, 2011
Planet Search Searching for faint wobbling planets Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Red Dwarf Planets Looking for close planets around close stars Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Clean Mirrors Keeping a clear view of the heavens Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Basket O' Planets A basketful of planets Thursday, April 21, 2011
M87 Black Hole Looking for a hidden giant Thursday, March 10, 2011
Upsilon Andromedae An out-of-whack solar system Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Featured Images

Artist's concept of a young Jupiter-like planet
Young Giant Thursday, August 27, 2015
Otto Struve, first director of McDonald Observatory
First Director Thursday, May 8, 2014
Construction of McDonald Observatory's 82-inch telescope, ca. 1934
Celebrating Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Participants in the McDonald Observatory dedication, May 5, 1939
Getting Started Monday, May 5, 2014
Diagram showing the layouts of several exoplanet systems
Going Farther Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Artist's concept of a range of recently discovered exoplanets
Planet Hunting Monday, April 28, 2014
Autographs from the dedication of McDonald Observatory
Who's Who Wednesday, May 7, 2014
A discharge of energy from the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories
Zapped! Monday, February 3, 2014
An early view of the primary mirror of McDonald Observatory's first telescope
Seeing the Light Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Technicians replace equipment for HETDEX at McDonald Observatory
On (and Off) Track Monday, November 4, 2013
Artist's concept of the Gamma Cephei star system
Stellar Geometry Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Horsehead Nebula photographed through a McDonald Observatory telescope
3D Horsehead Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Artist's concept of upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope
Facelift for Science Friday, June 3, 2011
Primary mirror of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, McDonald Observatory
A Big Bottle of Windex? Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Comet Hartley-2 from McDonald Observatory
Jolly Green Comet Thursday, October 21, 2010
Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory
Searching the Darkness Friday, October 15, 2010


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