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The following are Policies Governing Granting of Observing time at McDonald Observatory.

1 June 2020 Status of Telescopes: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused The University of Texas at Austin Office of the Vice President for Research to put restrictions on the use of laboratories.  Telescopes count as laboratories. In compliance with those restrictions and under special permissions, some telescopes may be operated at McDonald Observatory.  The following is the current status:

  • The 2.7m (107 in) may be used for observing with the following instruments: TS23, TS21, GMS (VIRUS-P) and VIRUS-W.  DIAFI is not available for use. Proposals for this telescope time is covered in the normal Call for proposals and are due on the regular schedule.
  • The 2.1m i(82 in) s currently closed to observers.  We anticipate we will be allowed to use the 2.1m in a limited capacity in the near future. However, proposals are currently not being accepted. When the telescope is available, only ProEM and CQUEAN will be allowed instruments.
  • The 0.8m (30 inch) is currently awaiting permission for use.  Proposals for this telescope are currently closed.

Telescopes are to be used remotely from the obserever's home.  No observers may travel to McDonald Observatory at this time.