Special Viewing Nights

Looking for a different telescope experience from what's offered at our regular Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday evening public Star Parties? We offer more exclusive special viewing programs on our 107", 82", and 36" research telescopes throughout the year.


Please note: the Visitors Center is located 450 miles from Austin and is on Central Time.



Viewing Night on the 107"

The Viewing Night on the 107" is designed to give you insight into the tools and methods of astronomical research. You'll have contact with a professional researcher and will look through the 107" telescope at up to three objects. This program is not suitable for children under ten. Dates through November 2015 have been posted ... there will be no 107" programs in July of 2015. December 2015 - March 2016 dates will be posted in late October or early November (see below).

82" Special Viewing Night

The 82" Special Viewing Night is back and it's better than ever! After extensive upgrades to the 82" Telescope such as automated pointing and a brand new focal reducing system, the original McDonald telescope .. the 2.1m Otto Struve .. is, arguably, one of the largest and finest telescopes in the world through which routine viewing is allowed.  Come and experience this unique program yourself! This program is not suitable for children under ten. New dates through November 2015 have been posted ... unfortunately, there will be no public 82" SVN programs in September or October of 2015. December 2015 - March 2016 dates will be posted in late October or early November (see below).

Viewing Night on the 36"

Viewing Night on the 36" is our most casual special viewing program. Not only will you get fabulous views through a large telescope, but you'll also have more opportunity to marvel at our dark skies since we won't be in a large dome that obscures most of the sky. Best of all, since this telescope isn't used as much for research as are the 107" and 82" telescopes, we have more access for a wide variety of special programs. This program is not suitable for children under ten. New dates through November 2015 have been posted ... there will be no 36" SVN programs in August of 2015. December 2015 - March 2016 dates will be posted in late October or early November (see below).

If you're still having trouble deciding, call us at 432-426-3640 and we'll be happy to assist you!