Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! At McDonald Observatory, we have several telescopes, built at various times since the Observatory's founding in the 1930s. Science. stephenhummel@utexas.edu Phone: 432-426-3640 Office Location M63 . The facility is located on Mount Locke in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, with additional facilities on Mount Fowlkes, approximately 1.3 kilometers (0.81 mi) to the northeast. The work included follow-up observations with our Hobby-Eberly Telescope. Locke (right) But there were two major challenges to overcome before McDonald's wish could become reality. The McDonald Observatory complex is home to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, the Harlan J. Smith Telescope, the Otto Struve Telescope, and other smaller telescopes. Please refresh the page and try again. Locke, TX. McDonald Observatory showing Mt. Major NSF Grant Accelerates Development for the GMT. The observatory is also known for its daily StarDate program, which runs on more than 300 radio stations across the country. Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more! Measuring the time required for the reflected light to return to Earth enables astronomers to measure the moon’s distance to an accuracy of 1.2 inches (3 centimeters). The gift will fund education programs, outreach events, and a new exhibit at the observatory’s visitors center. Astronomy Department McDonald Observatory McDonald Observatory West Texas. Cloud Cover: Overcast : 90% covered : 80% covered : 70% covered : 60% covered : 50% covered : 40% covered : 30% covered : 20% covered : 10% covered : Clear : The line, labeled Cloud Cover forecasts total cloud cover. The Observatory works with the University's Department of Astronomy on both research and teaching. There is so much to do and learn here. Fortunately, the University of Chicago had astronomers who were looking for another telescope to use in addition to their university's refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory. McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis Picture: Telescopes - Check out Tripadvisor members' 1,499 candid photos and videos. Stephen C Hummel Dark Skies Specialist McDonald Observatory. you can see the moon like you have never seen it before!! McDonald's first major telescope — later named the Otto Struve Telescope after the observatory's first director — was finished in 1939 and is still in use today. Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The cutout quartz disk was made into a new mirror 30 inches (0.8 m) across for another telescope. Between these two, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) can be seen, atop neighboring Mt. Fowlkes (left) and Mt. Education. And, new sensing instruments were created. McDonald "enjoys the darkest night skies of any professional observatory in the continental United States," according to a news release issued for the observatory's 80th anniversary. 3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX. There was a problem. Administered by the University of Texas at Austin, the McDonald Observatory has several telescopes perched at an altitude of 6791 feet (2070 meters) above sea level on Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes, part of the Davis Mountains in western Texas, about 450 miles (724 kilometers) west of Austin. McDonald Observatory (Austin) 2515 Speedway, Stop C1402 Austin, TX 78712-1206. Dedicated in 1997, the HET makes a striking technological contrast with the classic Struve instrument. Locke, Texas The largest telescope on Mt. These stars have long lifetimes and could provide steady energy for planets orbiting close to them. McDonald Observatory for Visitors Our observatory aims to inform, educate, and inspire the public. Mcdonald … These measurements, in turn, contribute to our understanding of Earth’s rotation rate, the moon’s composition, long-term changes in the moon’s orbit, and the behavior of gravity itself, including small effects predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. This year is the observatory's 75th anniversar... Apr 18, 2018 - A few years ago I had the pleasure of visiting McDonald Observatory on Mt. Currently, the observatory operates four research telescopes at its West Texas site: The HPF allows precise measurements of a star's radial velocity, measured by the subtle change in the color of the star's spectra as it is tugged by an orbiting planet, which is critical information in the discovery and confirmation of new planets. This required the telescope to be mounted on a strange-looking arrangement of axes and counterweights, designed and built by the Warner & Swasey company. This instrument, built nearby in 1970 and known simply as the 0.8 meter telescope, has the advantage of an unusually wide field of view. McDonald Observatory In the upper left, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope dome sits atop Mount Fowlkes. McDonald Observatory Researchers use an array of resources and opportunites at the McDonald Observatory in West Texas. 4.9 of 5 stars. Astronomical observatory, any structure containing telescopes and auxiliary instruments with which to observe celestial objects. A key piece of technology for the dark-energy search is the Visible Integral-Field Replicable Unit Spectrographs, or VIRUS, a set of 156 spectrographs mounted alongside the telescope and receiving light via 35,000 optical fibers coming from the telescope. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, 4.9. Kuiper published his spectroscopic study in the Astrophysical Journal. It will tell us if the laws of gravity are correct, and reveal new details about the Big Bang in which the universe was born," the HETDEX project website says. With its 9.2-meter (362-inch) mirror, the HET is one of the world's largest optical telescopes. Amateur Astronomy.. Its main mirror is 82 inches (2.08 meters) across. This document seeks to familiarize the user with weather and safety rules and asks the observers to pledge their commitment to operate instruments and telescopes in a safe manner. Locke proper is the 2.7-meter (formerly 107-inch) Harlan J. Smith telescope, completed in 1968 with substantial support from NASA (thereby ensuring that a fair fraction of time would be available for planetary science). With this package of identical instruments sharing the telescope, the HET can observe several hundred galaxies at once, measuring how their light is affected by their own motions and the expansion of the universe. The McDonald Observatory is an astronomical observatory located near the unincorporated community of Fort Davis in Jeff Davis County, Texas, United States. Observatories can be classified on the basis of the part of the electromagnetic spectrum in which they are designed to observe. Jan. 16, 1969: 1st docking of 2 crewed spacecraft, Rocket Lab calls off microsatellite launch due to sensor issue, How to spot the Pleiades, Hyades and other star clusters in the winter night sky, 'Bumblebee gravity' could explain why the universe is expanding so quickly. The HET is a fully queue scheduled 10-m class optical and near-IR spectroscopic telescope. When the Smith telescope was being built, a circular hole was cut in the center of its main quartz mirror to allow light to pass to instruments at the back of the telescope. It's local time, in 24hr format. McDonald Observatory: 107 inch telescope reviewing - See 1,275 traveller reviews, 376 candid photos, and great deals for Fort Davis, TX, at Tripadvisor. Another remarkable feature of the HET is that the telescope can rotate to point toward any compass direction, but it cannot tilt up or down to point at different heights in the sky. Staff extraordinary and eloquent in explaining telescope, light targets, search for exoplanets and how astronomers use light spectroscopy. The Hobby–Eberly Telescope (HET) is a 10-meter (30-foot) aperture telescope located at the McDonald Observatory. McDonald Observatory, observatory founded in 1939 by the University of Texas, on the legacy of the Texas financier William J. McDonald, on Mount Locke near Fort Davis, Texas. Explore. 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