HEALTH & SAFETY AT MCDONALD OBSERVATORY ...
What We’re Doing to Help Keep You Safe • We limit the number of visitors in programs. All areas of the Visitors Center, including exhibits, restrooms, and high-touch areas, are cleaned regularly. Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the Visitors Center. Air purifiers are in use throughout the building. We encourage staff and visitors to follow all applicable CDC guidelines for mask wearing and social distancing. • We offer socially distant seating in our outdoor amphitheater. While we don't enforce social distancing in our public areas, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we encourage visitors to distance their group from others while on site. For our indoor programs (Guided Tours, cloudy Star Party evenings, and Special Viewing Nights), it's not always possible to socially distance. Please use your best judgement and the available medical evidence. Health and Safety Requirements for Visitors • Do not visit if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more) with someone infected with or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days. We will happily reschedule or refund your passes with no charges. • Use hand sanitizer, which will be available at stations throughout the building. • Follow directions from staff and signage about guidelines for use of facilities.
36-inch (0.9m) research telescope is a powerful window on the universe, providing outstanding views of planets, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.
Targets vary with season, but some of our favorites are planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, globular clusters such as M13 and nebulae such as M42 (the Orion Nebula). We’re also sure to visit some galaxies far, far away! The program is designed to provide views of a wide variety of types of objects to give visitors a taste of all the Universe has to offer.
The Special Viewing Night is limited to 14-15 people and lasts approximately 2.5 hours. The intimate setting, small group size and amazing views make the Special Viewing Night on the 36” telescope a favorite among visitors and staff alike!
The 36" Telescope is located near the summit of Mt. Locke. Overnight accommodations at the Astronomers Lodge may be available for participants. We will connect you to the lodge to book a room if you are interested.
Before you sign up, be sure to check out our
Refunds, Cancellations, Waitlist ....
Passes are refundable up to one week prior to the program, less a $5 processing fee. You may reschedule up to 72 hours prior to your program at no charge. Missed programs will not be refunded or rescheduled. If you cancel: Contact us for more information. If we cancel: On occasion, we may have to cancel a program due to poor weather conditions or technical issues beyond our control. If we cancel a program, we will issue refunds to all participants. Your host may offer a partial refund if weather conditions prevent us from viewing a large portion of our planned targets. Participants must be present to receive a refund unless notified in advance via e-mail or text of program cancellation. Sold Out Program : ? Waitlists are available via our reservation system (see below). Program dates are posted according to the research needs of the Observatory.
If you are attending more than one program at the Observatory, please book your SVN as a separate reservation to ensure you receive the proper program documentation for all reserved programs.