82″ Otto Struve Telescope

McDonald Observatory has granted TSP attendees observing time on the 82″ Otto Struve Telescope!

Four sessions available ($125/session/person):

  • Friday     May 3:  9 PM – 2 AM
  • Saturday May 4:  2 AM – 6:45 AM (SOLD-OUT)
  • Saturday May 4:  9 PM – 2 AM
  • Sunday   May 5:  2 AM – 6:45 AM




You can carpool up to McDonald observatory (depart 1 hour earlier), and park car at Mt Locke parking lot (not the Visitor Center!) Then walk over to the 82″ telescope for observing session.  Be sure to view your Parking-at-McDonald map (see below).


  • Park your car outside front gate BEFORE DARK, if you are on the 2 AM observing session!  (No Driving on Ranch at night)
  • On return from observing session, the 9 PM session must park car outside front gate, and walk-in.
  • Carpooling? Meetup before you depart!
    • Meet outside Ranch Office at 6:30 PM Fri/Sat to arrange carpools
    • 9 PM sessions: Meet at front gate at 8:00 PM, depart 8:15 PM
    • 2 AM sessions: Meet at front gate at 1:00 AM, depart 1:15 AM


Bring a list of your favorite objects as candidates for your group’s visual observing.
Bring warm clothing, as nights will be cold at summit of Mt Locke!
Note that Jupiter & Saturn will be very close to the meridian by civil dawn, a likely target for the 2 AM sessions.

Requires moderate physical agility and ability to ascend/descend an (up to) 8-step staircase-type step ladder in addition to climbing two flights of stairs to reach the dome floor of the 82″ Telescope. The 82-inch dome is NOT wheelchair accessible.

These sessions are not suitable for children under 10.


To make your reservation and payment, visit McDonald 82-inch Special Observing Session .


Here is a link to weather conditions on Mount Locke.