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“Twilight and Star party” 5 of 5 stars
Review of McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory
3640 Dark Sky Drive, Fort Davis, TX 79734-1337
+1 432-426-3640
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Dining, Shopping
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Owner description: University of Texas' observatory on Mount Locke.
San Antonio, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Twilight and Star party”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Very enthusiastic guides with great humor and lots of knowledge resulting in a super learning experience. The sky was remarkable. We had a clear night and I have no words to describe the number of stars and the beauty that showed herself to us. Wonderful!

Visited November 2012
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houston,tx
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“McDonald Observatory”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

I recommend you drive up to the observatory twice. Once in the daytime to take the tour of the large telescopes. Mark did a wonderful job explaining everything to us. If you think you are going to get to look through the big telescopes, you might be disappointed. The scopes are in use by astronomers in the evening. They do have a special dinner and viewing evening if that is what you want to do. We drove up again on a clear evening for a Star Party. We were lucky to get Mark again who presented a constellation identification program (with humor). We then looked through six different telescopes at celestial objects from the Andromeda Galaxy to the Pleiades (7 Sisters) to Jupiter with four moons visible. If you're an astronomy buff or not, I think you would enjoy a visit to the McDonald Observatory.

Visited November 2012
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Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“More enjoyed the drive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

It was an observatory, got to see one of the telescopes, ate lunch, visited with resident astronomers. Overall, nice drive in the Davis Mountains with a destination. They do have star parties, but it is not using their telescopes.

Stay October 2011

Visited December 2011
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McDonald_Obs, Manager at McDonald Observatory, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Just to clear up a misconception .. we host the Tu, Fr, & Sa evening Star Parties at the Visitors Center which is part of the McDonald Observatory. While we do not use the research telescopes during the Star Party programs, we do use telescopes rather larger than those to which most folks are likely to have access. We have two 22" telescopes, an 18" Accessible Telescopes, a 16", a couple of 12", and number of other telescopes. At some point in the near future, we'll be installing a new 24" telescope at the Center's telescope park. Additionally, we do offer programs during which we do look through some of the research telescopes .. our 36" Special Viewing Night is typically held several times each month, the 107" Dinner & a Viewing is held 9-10 times each year, and we should be re-introducing our 82" Special Viewing Night sometime in the first half of 2013. You can find out more about all of the programs listed above at our website. Unfortunately, I can't provide a link to the website in this response .. TripAdvisor prohibits that, apparently. However, it is linked at the top of the review page so click there, please.
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Lubbock, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Stellar!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

The Observatory is worth the trip! Excellent and informative tours of the Observatory facilities, videos pertaining to the stars and galaxies, and historical information are offered to the public. If you time your trip, you can attend one of the nighttime "star parties" in which the a staf member gives an orientation lecture and then you can use a variety of telescopes to gaze upon the celestial bodies. Great trip for adults and children alike.

Visited October 2012
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Toronto
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Star Party is amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

wrap up warm as the show is outside. There are several telescopes and very informative and friendly staff put on a great evening.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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