My first trip to McDonald Observatory was for a Special View Night on the 82-inch Otto Struve telescope. This was truly an amazing experience to get to view through this telescope. The telescope itself is probably older than most the readers grandparents. Initial construction was started in 1933 and completed in 1939. At the time of its completion it was one of the larger telescopes available.

The gentlemen running our SVN were quite knowledgeable and quick to answer any questions we had. There was also another gentlemen who ran the scope itself. He was in charge of slewing it about the night sky to the beautiful stars. I was extremely lucky to attend when very few other people did. As such we got to view quite a few more objects than normal. Generally these sessions are booked out for months but I went during December at almost Christmas time!

The telescope is located at the summit of Mt. Locke housed inside a dome. The command center inside was quite vast as well. It is setup to be run remotely with ease when not doing these SVNs.

Control Room