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UT astronomers
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Seed Funding for the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center at McDonald Observatory

Shared by visitor James W. McCartney on June 13, 2014

My wife, Linda, and I were guests at McDonald Observatory in the 1980s. It was an exceptional experience. The people there, the student instructors, the cordial reception, and program were all very impressive. Multiple telescopes were available, for viewing nebulae, twin stars, the moon, Saturn’s rings, and various other objects. The quality of the presentations could not have been better, but we noticed that the quality of the existing visitors’ center was something else.

Observing with Dr. Harlan Smith

Shared by visitor Adrian New on May 19, 2014

During April of 1982, I attended a Planetarium Conference with a very good friend of mine, Bryan Snow. Bryan was then Director of the Scobee Planetarium at San Antonio College. Just before we left on our journey we contacted a local meteorologist about the weather conditions in Fort Davis. His comment was, "You poor boys." The forecast was a snow storm for the Davis Mountains. Mind you, this was late for this time of year. While traveling out interstate 10 West the weather was very nice. When we arrived in Fort Stockton, Texas we noticed the outside temperature dramatically dropped. We stopped for lunch in Fort Stockton and noticed the buses traveling from the West had sheets of ice on the front grills. We did not think much of it and proceeded with our trip to the Davis Mountains.

Sneaking in

Shared by visitor Angela Smith on February 11, 2014

I happened to be in the neighborhood of the observatory after presenting a workshop in Alpine and decided to drive up to see what was going on. Alas, the observatory was closed for a private tour of Japanese tourists. I decided to take my chances, started mingling with the group, and told our observatory guide that I was a translator for the group. The truth is I didn't speak a word of Japanese! Sometimes, a little fib and subterfuge is necessary when the stars are calling, and there are no other options available.

50th Anniversary of McDonald

50th Anniversary T-shirt design

Shared by McDonald staff member Sandi Preston on September 19, 2013

I remember the 50th anniversary of McDonald Observatory in 1989.  I was there!  Here's the t-shirt image that Tim Jones designed for that event.