painter hall dome

Public Viewing Austin

"Best of Austin 2013"

RLM 16" Telescope

Painter Hall 9" Telescope


Skywatcher's Report


Tinsley Visiting Professor

Adventures in Cosmic Star Formation


Mark Dickinson


Tues., Apr. 22, 3:30 PM
RLM 15.216B

Full Schedule

McDonald Observatory
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rebecca gale telescope park

[Kelly Delay]

McDonald Observatory Open House - April 26, 2014

McDonald Observatory celebrates its 75th Anniversary at this year's Open House on Saturday, April 26, in West Texas. Safe solar viewing (weather permitting), children's events, telescope tours, historic exhibits, and science talks: McDonald Director Dr. David Lambert, extrasolar planet hunter Dr. Fritz Benedict, and HETDEX team member Dr. Niv Drory, will be followed by a twilight program and evening viewing (weather permitting). All events are free. Make reservations to ensure participation. Full details..

Texas Regents Authorize $50 Million for UT Austin Share in Giant Magellan Telescope

McDonald Observatory with University of Texas System Joint News Release

7 March 2014

Giant Magellan Telescope Poised to Enter Construction Phase

McDonald Observatory Press Release

19 February 2014

75th anniversary logo

McDonald Observatory

Under dark skies in West Texas, McDonald Observatory hosts a wide range of research telescopes and instrumentation for astronomers, including the 9.2 meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The observatory also welcomes the public, with exhibits and talks at the Frank N. Bash Visitor's Center, and regular star parties in the Rebecca Gale Telescope Park.

75th anniversary artwork

75th Anniversary

In 2014, McDonald Observatory marks 75 years since the West Texas dedication ceremony, May 5, 1939. Lectures and special events will be held in Austin, in the Davis Mountains, and many other locations around Texas throughout the year. Please join us!

Bash Symposium 2013

Bashfest 2013 - New Horizons in Astronomy

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory hosted the fifth biennial Frank N. Bash Symposium, New Horizons in Astronomy, Oct. 6-8. The meeting brought together young researchers at the cutting edge of astronomy and astrophysics to exchange ideas, research, and visions for the future of astronomy.

giant magellan telescope

Giant Magellan Telescope

The University of Texas at Austin is a partner in an international consortium of science institutions building the next generation, 24.5 meter, Giant Magellan Telescope at Las Campanas, Chile. Construction has begun at this premier viewing site! Spincasting of the telescope's third, 8 meter, primary mirror began in August 2013 at Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab.

hobby-eberly telescope dark energy experiment

Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment

In August 2013, an upgrade began for the 9.2 meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope. A widened field of view, and 150 integral field spectrographs will give HET the ability to map the expansion of the early universe. On schedule to begin in 2014, the HETDEX survey will precisely measure more than 800,000 galaxies, to examine their distribution as the universe evolved.

texas cosmology center

Texas Cosmology Center

The Texas Cosmology Center was established to facilitate interdisciplinary efforts in Cosmology between the departments of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. As a public outreach effort, four videos have been produced featuring Texas cosmologists, on Black Holes, Cosmic Inflation, Dark Energy and Dark Matter.



StarDate is a public education and outreach arm of McDonald Observatory. StarDate radio, featuring science, astronomy, and observing tips, airs daily on nearly 300 stations. Bi-monthly StarDate magazine features sky tips, charts, and astronomy and space exploration news. StarDate also offers resources to teachers, the media, and the public.