82-inch Special Viewing Night

The historic 82-inch (2.1m) Otto Struve Telescope has been a valuable and sought-after research tool since 1939. Its size and location under the dark West Texas skies contribute to its ability to provide some of the most awe-inspiring telescopic views in the world.

Targets vary with season, but some of our favorites are planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, galaxies like the Whirlpool Galaxy, globular clusters such as M13 and nebulae such as M42 (the Orion Nebula). This Special Viewing Night features approximately ten targets and lasts approximately three hours. During the program, our staff assist visitors with viewing, answer questions and share their passion for astronomy with our guests. We think you’ll agree the stunning views, intimate setting and small group size make for an experience you won’t soon forget! Passes are $150 per person.

The 82-inch Telescope is located at the summit of Mt. Locke.  Overnight accommodations at the Astronomers Lodge may be available for participants.  We will connect you with the lodge to book a room if you are interested. Before you sign up, be sure to check out our remote location

Pro Tip:  The 82-inch Telescope one of the largest telescopes in the world routinely made available for public viewing.  The views are breathtaking in their own right, but can be better appreciated if you have looked through a smaller telescope to provide some context.  We suggest attending a Star Party during your visit in addition to the Special Viewing Night so you can see the difference between a small  telescope and the power of the 82-inch.

The 2.1-meter (82-inch) Otto Struve Telescope at the University of Texas McDonal

Otto Struve Telescope, Interior

Special Viewing Night IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Please note that the 36-inch and 82-inch domes are NOT wheelchair accessible. This program involves the use of a step ladder and takes place in a space with low levels of illumination.
  • It is NOT possible to participate in both a Star Party and a Special Viewing Night program on the same night. 
  • Due to program length and environment, this program is recommended for those over 10 years old. Families with children under 10-years-old are encouraged to attend our Star Party program.

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