The American Association of
 Amateur Astronomers

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ONLINE
Since 1996

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AL Observing Programs in PDF Format
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Join the AAAA's FREE Online Discussion Group, Hosted by Yahoo's eGroups Service

AAAA 
P.O. Box 7981
Dallas, TX 75209-0981

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Learn the Constellations
The First Light Astronomy Kit from David Chandler Company
Buy it Now or
Find Out More

McDonald Observatory on Mt. Locke
A Digital Photo Essay by AAAA President Ed Flaspoehler

Click on images for enlarged  view


McDonald Observatory
Hobby-Eberly Telescope


Hobby-Eberly Telescope
Segmented Main Mirror Cell


How it works


McDonald Observatory
82-inch Dome


McDonald Observatory
107-inch Dome


Hobby-Eberly
Across the Valley


McDonald Observatory
Historical Marker


The View to the SE
Towards Fort Davis


The View to the SW
Towards Marfa

McDonald Observatory is one of the great observatories in the world. It was build in 1930, under terms of legacy from William Johnson McDonald (1844-1926) a Paris, Texas, banker interested in the stars. A well-educated man, McDonald lived frugally. As a hobby he read science books, and viewed the stars and planets through a small telescope. His will granted to the University of Texas $800,000 "to build an observatory and promote the study of astronomy."

The site of McDonald Observatory, situated on Mt. Locke in Jeff Davis County in West Texas, was selected because of its high ratio of clear nights, its 6,800 foot altitude, its distance from artificially-lighted cities, and its quite low latitude that permits observations of southern skies.

The observatory was operated for its first 25 years mainly by astronomers from the University of Chicago, more recently by astronomers from the University of Texas. Until 1948,  its 82-inch telescope was second largest in the world. Its fine work and site have resulted in the addition of other telescopes, including a 107-inch instrument sponsored jointly by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the University of Texas.

Discoveries have included interstellar polarization and the satellites of several planets.

Text from McDonald Observatory Historical Marker

Visit the TSP Web Site: 
http://www.texasstarparty.org


Southwest Region 
of the 
Astronomical League

TSP Texas Logo
Texas Star Party



Astronomical 
League

AAAA Supports 
The Texas Star Party

Home | SWRAL

TSP 2005 Observing Programs | TSP 2004 Observing Programs | TSP 2003 Observing Programs | TSP 2001 Observing Programs | TSP 2000 Observing Programs | TSP 1999 Observing Programs | Texas Star Party 2007 | Texas Star Party 2005 | Texas Star Party 2004 | Texas Star Party 2003 | Texas Star Party 2002 | Texas Star Party 2001 | Okie-Tex Star Party | Eldorado Star Party | Lake Whitney Star Parties | McDonald Observatory on Mt. Locke | McDonald Observatory Visitor Center

The Texas Star Party is the Annual Convention of the Southwest Region of the Astronomical League,
sponsored by SWRAL and hosted by TSP, Inc.

Click HERE to Read Our Report on TSP 2003
Click HERE to Read Our Report on TSP 2002
Click HERE to Read Our Report on TSP 2001

Click HERE for TSP 2003 Observing Programs
Click HERE for TSP 2001 Observing Programs
Click HERE for TSP 2000 Observing Programs
Click HERE for TSP 1999 Observing Programs

Click HERE for AL Observing Programs to Download

The Southwest Region of the Astronomical League is made up of  28 member societies of the Astronomical League in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

Join the AAAA's SWRAL Newsgroup

Hosted by Yahoo Groups and the American Association of Amateur Astronomers

The purpose of the SWRAL Yahoo! Newsgroup, hosted by the American Association of Amateur Astronomers, is to create a forum where members of SWRAL clubs can share ideas and experiences, and just get to know each other. If you belong to one of the member societies of the Southwest Region of the Astronomical League, or just want to know more about what is going on in this part of the Astronomical League, please join us as we share ideas about our region and what we can do to encourage more communication between clubs.


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Astronomical League Logo

AAAA 
A Member Society of The Southwest Region of the Astronomical League
Bringing Amateur Astronomy to the World

The American Association of Amateur Astronomers is a member society of the Astronomical League. Based in Plano, TX, and with a worldwide membership, including 15% of its  members in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, AAAA is proud to be one of the ten largest clubs in the Astronomical League, and the second largest club in the Southwest Region.


Unless otherwise noted: 
Copyright ©2001 by The American Association of Amateur Astronomers



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