Tag Archives: Fort Davis

The McDonald Observatory

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?” – Psalm 8:3-4

I just got through uploading some pictures of our trip to the McDonald Observatory. McDonald observatory is home of the 5th largest telescope in the world, the 9.5 meter the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. It was also one of the cheapest telescopes built, costing only 20 million dollars. It doesn’t have a traditional dome, but rather a converted Doppler Radar Shell was used.

It was interesting to know that the McDonald Observatory is said to have the darkest night skies of any professional observatory in the continental United States. The mountains of Fort Davis offer not only a high altitude, but very little light pollution. This combined with it’s dry climate makes Fort Davis the ideal place for astronomy lovers.

Annie and I went to the star party last night. It was a little cloudy, but we managed to see a couple of stars. We saw the double star Albireo in Cygnus the Swan though a 12 inch telescope.

We were also able to see Saturn through a 22 inch telescope in the public observatory and of course the moon was also visible. The virtual tour was pretty interesting as well.

Today, Cody and I went for the tour. Cody wore out the tour guide who was also a professional astronomer with hundreds of questions. We were at True Value later today and Cody bought an Astronomy Merit Badge Booklet. I think he found something he really loves.

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