"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Sunday, February 15, 2015

McDonald Observatory


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Also in the Ft. Davis area is the McDonald Observatory.  A part of the Astronomy program at the University of Texas.  The facility spans two peaks of the Davis Mountains.

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Lots of interactive displays within the visitor center.

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As well as outside. A view of the star party area behind the visitor center.

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We weren’t lucky enough to attend on a star party date, but we did manage an afternoon program.  We had a very well informed guide.  He said that his “degrees” were in Geology, but he had been working at the observatory for 17 years.  Though he defined himself as an amateur Astronomer,  his knowledge sounded very professional to us.

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He set up two telescopes which allowed us to view the sun.  Pretty awesome seeing sunspots and flares on our nearest star.

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We also got an “up close and personal” tour of two of the research telescopes.

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Learned a lot about the history of the facility, going all the way back to 1939.  Lots and lots of technical information, also.  I’m sure all amateur astronomers would love this tour.  Hope to get back one day for one of the star parties…..jc


  1. Very cool. Glad y'all got a good look at our closest star.

  2. When spending time in the Tucson area we had reservations for one of the night sky tours at Kitt Peak. Wouldn't you know--it rained that night! We never did reschedule.

  3. Sounds like a great experience even without the star gazing party.

  4. I've been out of pocket for a week +...you Guys have been enjoying one of my favorite Texas places....a lot to see and do....hopefully you have cell and internet coverage...spotty in places at the State Park....I always enjoy the Fort, especially the programs...Have a safe journey back...Kids from KC are still here.....I'm hoping to get out in 3/4 weeks...Horst sends

  5. That's one os the places I would love to see. Also would love to attend a star party -- if there was someone to wxplain what I was seeing.

    Wishing you a safe and happy trip back home.

  6. Very good information! I recently attended a star talk at a state park and realized how ignorant I am about aatronomy.


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