The McDonald Observatory is an astronomical observatory located near the unincorporated community of Fort Davis in Jeff Davis County, Texas, United States. 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 site is property of the University of Texas at Austin, and receives its main funding from the university. The observatory produces StarDate, a daily syndicated radio radio program consisting of short segments related to astronomy that airs on many National Public Radio affiliates. The observatory also produces a similar program, Universo, in Spanish. The McDonald Observatory was originally endowed by the Texas banker William Johnson McDonald (1844–1926), who left $800,000 - the bulk of his fortune - to the University of Texas to endow an astronomical observatory. The provision of the will was challenged by McDonald's relatives, but after a long legal fight, construction began at Mt. Locke. The then-unnamed Otto Struve Telescope was dedicated on May 5, 1939, and at that time was the second largest telescope in the world.

Website
http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/

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Magnetic waves create chaos in star-forming clouds

New research by Stella Offner, assistant professor of astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin, finds that magnetic waves are an important factor driving the process of star formation within the enormous clouds that ...

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope sees first light

After several years and a massive team effort, one of the world's largest telescopes has opened its giant eye again. The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory has completed ...

Globular clusters rotate at heart

(Phys.org) —Astronomers from the University of Texas at Austin and Germany's Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) recently found a surprise when studying some of the oldest star clusters in our galaxy. ...

Astronomers discover pulsations in crystalized, dying star

(Phys.org) —Astronomers from The University of Texas at Austin and colleagues have used the 2.1-meter Otto Struve Telescope at the university's McDonald Observatory to discover pulsations from the crystalized remnant of ...

Orionid meteor shower peaks Oct. 20-21, 2012

As it does each year, early fall brings crisper air, turning leaves, and the Orionid meteor shower. This year's best viewing will be in the several hours around midnight October 20 and before dawn on October 21, according ...