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Giant Magellan Telescope Breaks Ground in Chile

 McDonald Observatory leaders and supporters, along with representatives from an international group of partner universities and research institutions, are gathering on a remote mountaintop high in the Chilean Andes today to celebrate groundbreaking for the Giant Magellan Telescope.

HET dome

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Sees First Light

After several years and a massive team effort, one of the world’s largest telescopes has opened its giant eye again. After a $25-million upgrade, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope now uses more of its primary mirror and has achieved 'first light' as the world’s third-largest optical telescope.

white dwarf outburst

Dying Stars Suffer from 'Irregular Heartbeats'

Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Warwick have discovered never-before-seen outbursts in stars whose light pulses are usually reliable as a ticking clock.

McDonald Observatory: Brain Motor

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.

Pushing Toward Earth 2.0

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.