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Exploring the Cosmos in West Texas

Exploring the Cosmos in West Texas
Mcdonald ObservatoryThe college’s McDonald Observatory is one of the world's leading centers for astronomical research, teaching, public education and outreach. The observatory sits atop Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, which offer some of the darkest night skies in the continental United States.

The observatory’s showcase Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is one of the world's largest optical telescopes, with a 9.2-meter (433-inch) mirror. It’s ideal for searching for planets around other stars, and studying distant galaxies, exploding stars, black holes, and more.

The workhorse Harlan J. Smith Telescope, constructed between 1966 and 1968, was the third largest in the world when built. The telescope is used every clear night of the year.

McDonald Observatory operates a multi-faceted international public outreach program. One of the most popular events for visitors to the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center is the Star Party. There visitors enjoy an outdoor, expert-led tour of the constellations and view the moon, planets, stars, galaxies, and other objects through large telescopes. Other outreach events include public tours, K-12 teacher and student activities, and more.

McDonald also produces the StarDate and Universo radio programs, StarDate magazine, the StarDate Online and Universo Online web sites, and special programs for hundreds of elementary and secondary teachers across the United States.
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Tuesday, 07 February 2023

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