Research Facilities

hobby-eberly dome

9.2 m Hobby-Eberly Telescope

High Resolution Spectrograph
Medium Resolution Spectrograph
Low Resolution Spectrograph

harlan j. smith dome

2.7 m Harlan J. Smith Telescope

Cassegrain f/8.8 Ritchey-Chretien focus

CCD WHT Camera
Imaging Grism Instrument (IGI)

Coudé f/32.5 focus

Robert G. Tull Coudé Spectrographs

Tull Spectrograph (TS1)
Cross-Dispersed Echelle Spectrograph (TS2)

otto struve dome

2.1 m Otto Struve Telescope

Prime f/3.9 focus


Cassegrain f/13.7 focus

Sandiford Cass Echelle Spectrometer (SES)
Cassegrain Spectrometer (es2)
CCD WHT Camera
Imaging Grism Instrument (IGI)

0.9m dome

0.9 m Telescope

The 0.9 m telescope is currently used for public educational programs and special viewing events.

0.8m dome

0.8 m Telescope

f/3.0 focus

Prime Focus Corrector (PFC)

caltech submillimeter observatory

10 m Caltech Submillimeter Observatory

McDonald has an agreement with the California Institute of Technology for 10% of the nights on the 10m CSO submillimeter telescope at Mauna Kea, Hawaii.


South African Large Telescope (SALT)

Based on the design of the HET, SALT was inaugurated November 10, 2005, and is undergoing Performance Verification. The University of Texas will receive 5% of the telescope's observing time.


Non-UT Research Facilities Hosted at McDonald


Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope

McDonald hosts one of the nodes of the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope and receives 15% of the telescope time on the global network. The first 1 m telescope in the network achieved first-light at McDonald on March 31, 2012.


1.2 m MONET Telescope

McDonald hosts one of the two robotically controlled telescopes of the MONET project. The twin is located in South Africa. Installation in West Texas began in November 2005. The Observatory will likely receive a 10-15% share of each instrument.

20 in. telescope

20" Telescope

The observatory hosts a 20" telescope for Boston University's Imaging Science program.

Optical Aeronomy at Boston University


0.45 m ROTSE Telescope /IIIb

McDonald hosts one of the four globally networked Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment telescopes, and receives 30% of the telescope's time.


Observing Support

Observing Manuals, Technical Support, Emergency Contacts, and News: West Texas Observing Support