From the Board of Visitors Executive Committee
for the 75th Anniversary
• An online 'Memories" page at the McDonald Observatory web site has drawn dozens of contributors, including people whose parents worked on the construction of the 82-inch telescope; donors; present and former astronomers, and an observatory engineer whose visit as a toddler inspired his career; K-12 teachers recalling onsite teacher workshops; and regular visitors who treasure their memories of McDonald Observatory.
A simple form on the site allows anyone to add text and photos. All BoV members and friends are invited to join in the observatory's celebration by adding their own memories.
• Sandra Preston's recent post for the Global Astronomy Month 2014 Blog of the international group Astronomers Without Borders was highlighted by the Texas Exes Alcalde. Writes Preston, "Today, as I look at a book that was signed during that special weekend of the 82-inch telescope dedication almost 75 years ago, I am in awe. Some of the greatest names in astronomy were in attendance: Harlow Shapley, S. Chandrasekhar, Henry Norris Russell, Edwin Hubble and others who went on to be famous. There were women also—Helen Sawyer Hogg and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin—prolific observers, who significantly impacted our understanding about the Milky Way and stellar evolution."
You can see the Alcalde story at:
And you can see Preston's original post from Astronomers Without Borders at:
• The McDonald Observatory user site at Youtube.com has a trove of videos on a variety of subjects, including several on the history of the observatory and the 82-inch telescope. For example, Rachel Fuechsl of the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center hosts a 2-minute video (written by Frank Cianciolo and produced by Kevin Mace) that shows how the telescope was used by astronomers when it was built -- which involved negotiating heights in the dark:
Also at McDonald Observatory's Youtube.com site: Harlan J. Smith's 57-minute talk from 1989 on the history of the observatory up to that time -- its 50th anniversary.
See these and more at the McDonald Observatory page on Youtube.com