After years of hearing StarDate on NPR, I knew that the McDonald Observatory was a worthy destination on my Hemicentennial (50th Birthday) Celebration roadtrip. I decided to leave Seattle and drive to various astronomy-related sites ending with a visit to the McDonald Observatory (and my son who was living in Marfa). I started in Seattle and drove to The Griffith observatory in L.A., Kitt Peak Observatory in Tucson, the VLA in Soccoro, NM, and finally to the McDonald in Ft. Davis.
Shared by visitor Melissah Watts on July 28, 2014
First Visit 1956
Shared by visitor Jackie Walker Montgomery on July 23, 2014
My family lived in Odessa, TX at the time of my first visit. All I wanted to do was see the stars. As a child it was amazing to see this telescope that could go to the stars. I have a picture of myself in front of the observatory in 1956, and Christmas of 2009 I took a picture of my grandson standing in the area that I stood. My grandson loved the visit and wishes to go back and hope to do so next summer, 2015.
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.
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.