Explore Memories


UT astronomers
Visiting astronomers
McDonald staff members 

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.

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.

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.

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.