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UT astronomers
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Supernova in M82

Shared by visitor Don Moses on July 18, 2014

In January 2014 light from a supernova in M82, the Cigar Galaxy, reached us here on Earth. I was able to view it with my small Dobsonian, but I wanted more so I signed up for one of the special viewing sessions on the 36" Telescope at McDonald Observatory.

The annual run

Shared by visitor JohnnyKat on June 20, 2014

I just wanted to throw this story out there and it is not some spectacular tale of stars and galaxies far, far away. it is about a group of guys that makes a short little motorcycle run from the Waco and Temple areas of Texas to the observatory each year.

The Message of Starlight

Shared by teacher workshop participant Eileen Grzybowski on June 2, 2014

I love to learn and consider myself a lifelong learner. My original degrees are in Biology and Botany, but my first love of Astronomy began at the age of 5 when I first saw the Milky Way from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Growing up in the wilds of New York City brought me to learn at the Hayden Planetarium in as many "Astronomy for Young People" courses as my parents would allow.

I have been teaching a one semester Astronomy course for high school students since the Fall of 2004. From the beginning, I have sought professional development opportunities to extend and update my knowledge and authentic research experiences that I could turn into investigations for my students.

Remembering William Johnson McDonald in Paris, Texas

Shared by McDonald staff member Joel Barna on May 5, 2014

On May 2, 2014, McDonald Observatory Director David L. Lambert gave a talk on the history and future of McDonald Observatory in Paris, Texas — the home of William Johnson McDonald (1844-1926), whose bequest to the University of Texas created McDonald Observatory.

Big Telescope

Shared by teacher workshop participant Scott Demaree on April 26, 2014

I was lucky enough to get to the observatory two summers in a row for teacher workshops. On the second of these, I got my hands on a "real" telescope. No, not a research instrument. I was honored to collect photons with my own eyes through the 36-inch, by far the largest telescope I've ever used. Starting at age 12 with a 4.25-inch reflector, over the years, I worked up to a 10-inch. And I have observed objects with telescopes as large as 20 inches.

But this was a real treat!