Home Page

Galaxies Actively Forming in Early Universe Caught Feeding on Cold Gas

A team of astronomers has found a trio of galaxies that are in the process of gathering gas when the universe was only a few hundred million years old. “It was unexpected to see evidence for such thick gas not inside, but outside of these galaxies,” said Steven Finkelstein, astronomy professor at UT Austin. “This happens in the nearby universe, but it is very rare. It is apparently more common at early times."

June 8: Van ISD STEAM Bus at McDonald (Free Event)

Families can enjoy learning together with the Van ISD STEAM bus at McDonald Observatory on June 8 from 12-5 p.m. This makerspace-on-wheels provides students with learning opportunities across a variety of disciplines including science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Visitors can engage in hands-on, problem-based activities using technology such as tablets, Chromebooks, microscopes, AR/VR equipment, and robots. The STEAM Bus is free, open to the public, and designed for pre-K through 12th graders. 

How We Celebrated the April Eclipse

On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse swept across North America, from Mexico to Canada. Along the way, it traveled through the Lone Star State, giving Texans a second opportunity to see a solar eclipse within one year – an annular “ring of fire” eclipse was visible on October 14, 2023.

Astronomers Uncover Methane Emission on a Cold Brown Dwarf

Using new observations from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), astronomers have discovered methane emission on a brown dwarf, an unexpected finding for such a cold and isolated world. Published today in the journal Nature, the findings suggest that this brown dwarf might generate aurorae similar to those seen on our own planet as well as on Jupiter and Saturn.

Work with the Stars! McDonald Observatory is hiring.

Work with McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory is currently hiring for positions located at the Observatory near beautiful Fort Davis, Texas. Join our team!