McDonald Observatory, a 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. Additionally, the observatory is a partner in the forthcoming Giant Magellan Telescope, under construction in Chile. McDonald Observatory's administrative offices are on the UT Austin campus. The Observatory works with the University's Department of Astronomy on both research and teaching.
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The Observatory plans a full year of activities around the state to celebrate.