Thursday, May 15, 2014

McDonald Observatory

We spent our morning today visiting the McDonald Observatory located in the Davis Mountains in Jeff Davis County, Texas.  The site is the property of the University of Texas at Austin.

The Frank N. Bash Visitors Center
In the photo above the Hobby-Eberly Telescope is seen at the peak of Mt Fowkes at 6,600 feet above sea level.  Dedicated in 1997 the Hobby-Eberly Telescope is one of the largest optical telescopes in the world.

The dome housing the 82 inch telescope.

Dedicated in 1939, the 82 inch telescope was named
after Russian-American astronomer Otto Struve.

Groups very seldom get to tour the 82 inch telescope.  However, because of maintenance being done to the 107 inch telescope normally visited by tourists, our group got to see the 82 inch telescope.

The 82 inch telescope is located on an official Texas highway
and TXDOT has posted this sign recognizing Mount Locke
as the highest point of Texas Highways.
We enjoyed our daytime tour at McDonald Observatory today.   Tomorrow evening we return after dark for a Star Party featuring telescope viewing, a constellation tour and additional astronomy programs.