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McDonald Observatory’s Brendan Bowler Wins Prestigious Hubble Fellowship

McDonald Observatory’s Brendan Bowler Wins Prestigious Hubble Fellowship

Astronomer Brendan Bowler of The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded a competitive Hubble Fellowship from NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), science center for the Hubble Space Telescope.

Dr. Brendan Bowler is a Hubble Fellow at McDonald Observatory. (credit: Brendan Bowler)

"I congratulate Brendan Bowler on winning one of the most prestigious fellowships in astronomy to continue his work at McDonald Observatory," said Taft Armandroff, the observatory's director.

Hubble Fellows conduct research related to the mission of NASA's Cosmic Origins Program, which aims to examine the origins of galaxies, stars, and planetary systems, and the evolution of these structures with cosmic time. Bowler studies various aspects of planetary systems.

"I like to boil it down to studying the origin, the atmospheres, and the architectures of giant planets orbiting other stars," Bowler said. His three-year Hubble fellowship, which he will undertake at UT Austin, will fund his project "Probing the Origins of Giant Planets on Wide Orbits." He will be looking at massive, Jupiter-sized planets that orbit their stars many times farther away than Jupiter does the Sun.

"How did they form, and how did they arrive there?" he asks. For this work, he will use many different tools, including the 2.7-meter Harlan J. Smith Telescope at McDonald Observatory with its IGRINS instrument, and later, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald.

"Hubble Fellows are the future leaders of our field, and these prestigious fellowships give them a wonderful opportunity to grow professionally and establish their credentials," said STScI director Ken Sembach. "This impressive class of Fellows will surely make major contributions to astronomical research for years to come. Congratulations to all of them."

Bowler received his Ph.D. in astronomy from The University of Hawaii, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Caltech. For the past year, he has held a W.J. McDonald Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship with McDonald Observatory.

This article first appeared on the website of the McDonald Observatory.

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Friday, 03 February 2023

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