Visit an Observatory!
Highlights of the TEXnewMEX TUUR October 8-16, 2022
Ready for more exploration of outer space? How about a night sky constellation tour at the McDonald Observatory? This research unit of The University of Texas at Austin is one of the world’s leading centers for astronomical research, teaching, and public education and outreach. Observatory facilities are located atop Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, which offer some of the darkest night skies in the continental United States. We’ll also view celestial objects through a number of telescopes.
The Visitor’s Center’s design responds to the rolling and scrubby terrain of its site and references West Texas building traditions, as well as early Native American astronomical beliefs and practices. The site plan consists of a series of three spirals — the entrance plaza, the outdoor eating area and the amphitheater — with the building sited in the center. Spirals and circles refer to ancient ruins which are found in the Southwest of the United States and are thought to have been used by early civilizations to measure and record astronomical events. This gesture embraces the anthropological history of astronomy as a human endeavor and connects to the science’s past.
As an added bonus for our travelers who pay their initial deposit before April 1st, we will pay your entrance fee into Spaceport Roswell, a virtual reality-based experience that explores the "Roswell Incident" from the perspective of the aliens who caused it. In addition, all early registrants may postpone their second payment, originally due on April 1st, until May 1st. Those registering after April 1st will have two payments due as soon as they register, with the last payment due for all on June 1st, when we plan to close registration. At this time, we have 13 places left. When they’re gone, they’re gone!