McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory is 450 miles (725 km) west of Austin, Texas, and 185 miles (300 km) east of El Paso. The nearest town is Ft. Davis, Texas, about 18 miles (30 km) away. McDonald Observatory Star Parties and Twilight Programs are famous thrice-weekly events under some of the darkest night skies in the continental United States, held in conjunction with frequent Special Viewing Nights on some of the largest telescopes in the world. The twilight programs on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights and the star parties are subject to capacity limits. These events typically sell out days or even weeks ahead of time, and reservations are required. An EarthSky community member says, “Skies are dark. There are guided constellation tours and telescopes set up for viewing. If it’s a clear night, it’s an awesome and memorable night-sky experience for families and beginners.”

July 8, 2016

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