Click to visit our YouTube channel to view this new 15-minute video overview of McDonald Observatory. Narrated by StarDate's Sandy Wood, it discusses our history and the cutting-edge science happening here today.
McDonald Observatory astronomers working with NASA’s Kepler mission have helped to discover the first near-Earth-sized planet around a Sun-like star in the “habitable zone,” the range of distances where liquid water could pool on a planet’s surface.
The Giant Magellan Telescope's 11 international partners, including UT Austin, have unanimously approved its construction, securing the future of the project with more than $500 million to begin work on the world’s most powerful optical telescope. GMT is expected to see first light in 2021.
Cancer, the crab, is high in the east at first light. One of its stars, 55 Cancri, hosts at least five planets, including one that may be covered by giant planets that belch enough ash and gas to sometimes almost block its sun from view.