Open House

April 26, 2014 - McDonald Observatory

Come celebrate our 75th anniversary with us at a free Open House!

Please note that due to capacity and safety regulations, some events, though free of charge, will require reservations. They are noted below. For reservations and other information, go to our Open House reservations page.

Daytime Events:

Safe viewing of the Sun (weather permitting)

Balloons and face painting

Exhibit of 75th anniversary-themed art from local area school children

Fire Truck display

Award-winning 75th Anniversary float display

Historical display in the Visitors Center

Talks, inside the Visitors Center theater (reservations required):

  • The W. J. McDonald Observatory: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, by McDonald Director Dr. David L. Lambert
  • Hunting for Alien Worlds, by Dr. Fritz Benedict
  • Dark Energy and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX), by Dr. Niv Drory

Tours:

  • Late afternoon guided tour of 82-inch Otto Struve Telescope, including telescope views of Jupiter (weather permitting). Reservations required. (Program will require climbing two flights of steps at ~ 6800 feet elevation.)
  • 107-inch Harlan J. Smith Telescope: Gallery open for self-guided tours. (Viewing gallery access will require climbing four flights of steps at ~ 6800 feel elevation.)
  • Hobby-Eberly Telescope: Open for self-guided tours.

Nighttime Events (weather permitting):

Views of Jupiter beginning at ~ 8:00 p.m. (Visitors Center Telescope Park) continuing through end of Open House.

Views of Mars beginning at ~ 8:30 p.m. (Visitors Center Telescope Park) continuing through end of Open House.

Constellation Tours (unaided-eye tours of the night sky) at 9:30 & 10:30 p.m. (Visitors Center Amphitheater).

Views of the Red Planet, Mars, on the 82-inch Otto Struve Telescope at 9:15 p.m. Reservations required. (Program will require climbing two flights of steps at ~ 6800 feet elevation at night.)

For reservations and other information, go to our Open House reservations page.

In this aerial view, the two large domes in the foreground are the 2.1-meter Str
In this aerial view, the two large domes in the foreground are the 2.1-meter Struve Telescope (left) and the 2.7-meter Smith Telescope (right) atop Mt. Locke. The Hobby-Eberly Telescope can been seen atop Mt. Fowlkes in the distance between them.