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.
Subscribe to rss feed