McDonald Observatory is a research unit of The University of Texas at Austin. The Observatory is located near Fort Davis. Our administrative offices are located both near Fort Davis and in Austin, Texas.

Observatory Address: 3640 Dark Sky Dr, Fort Davis, TX 79734

Mailing Address: 2515 Speedway C1402, Austin, TX 78712-1206

Public Hours and Closures

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m.

Closed Sunday and Monday

Holiday Closures: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day

Visitors Center

To speak with a representative at the McDonald Observatory Frank N. Bash Visitors Center, please call 432-426-3640 or email

To book programs and activities, use the online reservation form. For help with reservations, email the reservations department

To inquire about gift shop items or an online order, email or call 432-426-3645. For StarDate orders call 1-800-STARDATE. 

Membership and Giving

To make a tax-deductible contribution and join the Friends of McDonald, call 512-471-3303 or join online. For questions about your membership, call or send email to

Teachers & Educators

For information about K-12 Educational Opportunities and Teacher Professional Development Programs, please contact

Media Inquiries

For questions about an observatory news release or to arrange an interview with an astronomer or a media visit to campus or the observatory call 512-475-6763 or send email to Emily Howard, Communications Manager.