McDonald Observatory Live Streaming Programs

Visit the Observatory from the comfort of your living room! Join us live or watch a previous program on our Youtube channel.  Also check us out on Facebook for additional program announcements.  Upcoming programs will be announced here and on social media before the program occurs.  Thanks for tuning in!



Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. CT

Hosts: Joe Wheelock and Saul Rivera
Join us on November 8th, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. CT for a live tour of some of the big planets in our solar system! Your hosts Joe Wheelock and Saul Rivera will show you live views of several planets in our solar system (weather permitting), teach you cool facts about them, and even talk about big planets in other star systems!

Moon Tours

Kevin Mace
Judy Meyer
Saul Rivera

Join us for a tour of and discussion about Earth's companion, the Moon.  During the tour, your host will show both low and high power live views of the Moon and its many features visible through our 16" and 3" telescopes at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center located at McDonald Observatory.

Deep Sky Tours

Stephen Hummel
Kevin Mace
Saul Rivera

Our Deep Sky Tours feature live views of some of the objects which we typically look at during our popular Star Party programs, including nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. The live stream is broadcast from the dome of our RCOS 16" f/9 RC telescope at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center.

Solar Tours

Joe Wheelock
Judy Meyer
Sam Jones

No sunscreen required!  Our Solar Tours feature live views of our nearest star, the Sun.  Depending upon the Sun's activity level at the time of the program, your host will show sunspots, flares, prominences, and other features using specialized telescopes and solar filters.

Archived Moon Tours

Archived Deep Sky Tours

Archived Solar Tours

July 28, 2020 February 22, 2023
June 30, 2020 April 21, 2022 June 16, 2021
March 5, 2021
December 11, 2020  
  December 2, 2020  
  November 11, 2020  
  August 8, 2020  
  July 14, 2020  
  June 23, 2020  
  June 12, 2020  
  June 9, 2020  
  May 22, 2020  
  May 16, 2020  
  May 9, 2020  
  April 23, 2020  
  April 18, 2020  
  April 14, 2020  


"Ring of Fire" Live October Annular Eclipse (Archived from October 14, 2023)


A special collaborative livestream between McDonald Observatory and the Blakemore Planetarium in Midland, Texas, for the October 2023 Annular Eclipse! Hosts and staff at both locations talk about eclipses, what causes them, how to safely view them, answer questions submitted by the public, and watch the peak of the eclipse, with live views from telescopes.

FAMILY ASTRONOMY: Books!  Books!  Books! (Archived from March 8, 2023)


We love astronomy, and we love astronomy books!  Join us as we share some of our favorite astronomy books for all ages,
from babies and kids to families and adults.

FAMILY ASTRONOMY: Galaxies (Archived from January 18, 2023)


Bring the whole family to look at, learn about, and even build your own galaxies!  If you'd like to build a galaxy along with the live program, be ready with a 12-inch piece of cardboard or poster board, glue, cotton balls, and glitter glue or paint.

Mars Opposition Livestream with Lowell Observatory (Archived from December 8, 2022)

Hosts: Saul Rivera and Judy Meyer, McDonald Observatory
John Compton and Kevin Schindler, Lowell Observatory

This show is a special joint livestream between McDonald Observatory and Lowell Observatory for the Mars 2023 opposition! Hosts from both observatories discuss all things Mars, such as its science, history, geology, and future missions.  This show also features live views of Mars from telescopes at both sites.

Hobby-Eberly Telescope - LIVE from the Control Room (Archived from November 9, 2022)

Hosts: Saul Rivera, McDonald Observatory
Dr. Steven Janowiecki, Resident Astronomer, Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Hosts Saul Rivera and resident astronomer Dr. Steven Janowiecki show how astronomers conduct research
and what they see in the control room as data are collected.

Hobby-Eberly Telescope Birthday Celebration (Archived from October 26, 2022)

Host: Saul Rivera, McDonald Observatory
Co-Hosts: Dr. Jim Fowler, Dr. Steven Janowiecki, Herman Kriel

Join us in celebrating the birthday of our largest telescope with a panel discussion with some of the staff that work on it!
Learn about the history, engineering, and science of the Hobby Eberly Telescope.

Live Milky Way Tour (Archived from Wednesday, August 24, 2022)

Hosts: Saul Rivera and Joseph Wheelock at the McDonald Observatory


Hosts Saul Rivera and Joe Wheelock show you views from a camera attached to a research-grade 16" telescope at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center, along with spectacular wide angle views of the Milky Way.  Unfortunately, the viewing portion of the show was clouded out.

Live Total Lunar Eclipse (Archived from Sunday, May 15, 2022)

Hosts: Saul Rivera and Joseph Wheelock at the McDonald Observatory


Hosts Saul Rivera and Joe Wheelock show live views from a camera attached to a  telescope at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center. Discussion topics include eclipses, how they occur, how to get safe pictures of them, and the program includes open ended Q&A.

What is Spectroscopy? (Archived from Wednesday, February 16, 2022)

Hosts: Joseph Wheelock, Saul Rivera, and Stephen Hummel at the McDonald Observatory

Learn about a technique astronomers use, spectroscopy, and see unique views of some celestial objects with one of our telescopes.

Family Astronomy: Lives of Stars (Archived from Wednesday, January 26, 2022)

Hosts: Judy Meyer, Martinique Pautzke, and Saul Rivera at the McDonald Observatory

Learn about the life cycle of stars and view various nebulae and star clusters which related to different stages of a star's life.

Family Astronomy: Live Planets (Archived from Wednesday, October 27, 2021)

Hosts: Judy Meyer, Martinique Pautzke, and Joe Wheelock at the McDonald Observatory

Watch this family-oriented livestream program which was broadcast on October 27, 2021.
We discussed planets and enjoyed live views of Jupiter, Saturn, and more.

Perseid Meteor Shower (Archived from Wednesday, August 11, 2021)

Hosts: Stephen Hummel and Saul Rivera at the McDonald Observatory
with Dr. Anita Cochran, Assistant Director, McDonald Observatory

Enjoy the Perseid meteor shower livestream which was broadcast on August 11, 2021.
Unfortunately, the viewing portion of the show was clouded out, but hosts also discussed the origins of meteor showers,
their relationship with comets, and much more.

Reflections on the 82-inch Telescope (Archived from May 5, 2021)

Hosts: Kevin Mace and Martinique Pautzke

Join us as we celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the 82-inch Otto Struve Telescope.
We discuss the early history of the McDonald Observatory and the workings of this 82-inch (2.1 meter) telescope.
A number of ‘guest stars’ joined us to share their stories and experiences with the first telescope at the McDonald Observatory.

Hobby-Eberly Telescope Tour (Archived from March 10, 2021)

Hosts: Martinique Pautzke and Saul Rivera

Explore McDonald Observatory’s 10-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope nestled in the mountains of Far West Texas.
Learn how 91 mirrors collect starlight, why the telescope spins on air, and who we need to keep a research facility operating.
Hosts Martinique Pautzke and Saul Rivera use images and videos to engage all ages in this program.

Planet Fest 2020 (Archived from October 21, 2020)

Hosts: Stephen Hummel and Martinique Pautzke

Watch this program from October 21, 2020 when Mars was at its nearest to Earth in 17 years.  Also included in this program are
views of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, far-flung Neptune, and the dwarf planet Pluto, 3.2 billion miles away at the time.

Jupiter & Saturn Conjunction 2020 (Archived from December 21, 2020)

Hosts: Kevin Mace, Frank Cianciolo, and Stephen Hummel

This program featured live views and discussion about the close conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21, 2020.


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