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UT Austin and Partners Cast Fifth Massive Mirror for Giant Magellan Telescope

UT Austin and Partners Cast Fifth Massive Mirror for Giant Magellan Telescope

The GMT mirror 5 mold filled with 17,500 kg of low expansion glass, ready for the lid of the furnace to be placed. (Credit: University of Arizona)

Today, The University of Texas at Austin and its partners in the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) are beginning to cast the fifth of seven mirrors that will form the heart of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). The mirror is being cast at The University of Arizona's Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory, a facility known for creating the world's largest mirrors for astronomy. The 25-meter diameter GMT will be located in the Chilean Andes and will study planets around other stars and to look back to the time when the first galaxies formed.

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Trip to McDonald Observatory Inspires FRI Student

Trip to McDonald Observatory Inspires FRI Student

Rylee Ross, second from left, poses with other members of the White Dwarf Stars research stream in front of the 2.1m Otto Struve Telescope at the McDonald Observatory. Students used the telescope to make time series measurements of pulsating white dwarf stars.

This summer, Rylee Ross, a member of the White Dwarf Stars research stream of the Freshman Research Initiative and her lab-mates visited the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas. Rylee is a second-year physics (space science option) major and the recipient of a 2017 FRI Summer Research Fellowship. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school in physics.

UT Austin Ranks No. 10 Among U.S. Universities for Science in Latest Nature Index

UT Austin Ranks No. 10 Among U.S. Universities for Science in Latest Nature Index

The University of Texas at Austin ranked No. 11 among all U.S. institutions (academic and nonacademic) and No. 10 among U.S. universities for publication of scientific research, according to the latest report from the Nature Index.

These Mathematical Techniques Could Help Design Shape-shifting Materials

These Mathematical Techniques Could Help Design Shape-shifting Materials

A snapdragon flower petal grown from a cylinder. In each state, the colors show the growth factors of the top (left) and bottom (right) layer, and the thin black lines indicate the direction of growth. The top layer is viewed from the front, and the bottom layer is viewed from the back, to highlight the complexity of the geometries. (Credit Harvard SEAS)

Nature has a way of making complex shapes from a set of simple growth rules. The curve of a petal, the swoop of a branch, even the contours of our face are shaped by these processes. What if we could unlock those rules and reverse engineer nature's ability to grow an infinitely diverse array of shapes?

Astronomers Solve Mystery of Formation of First Supermassive Black Holes

Astronomers Solve Mystery of Formation of First Supermassive Black Holes

Gas density distribution around the newborn protostar. The left-to-right supersonic gas motion results in the non-spherical, compressed density structure. (Credit: Shingo Hirano)

An international team of researchers has successfully used a supercomputer simulation to recreate the formation of a massive black hole from supersonic gas streams left over from the Big Bang. The study will be published tomorrow in the journal Science, in a paper led by astronomer Shingo Hirano of The University of Texas at Austin.

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Update from the Marine Science Institute after Hurricane Harvey

Update from the Marine Science Institute after Hurricane Harvey

The message below is an update from University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute Director and Marine Science Department Chair Dr. Robert Dickey.

Colorful Veggies, Full Stomachs, Can't Lose

Colorful Veggies, Full Stomachs, Can't Lose

Back-to-school time is a busy time for students, parents and teachers. There are countless things to check off to-do lists. And once school is back in session, there are busy mornings and hectic routines. The grind of homework, after-school activities and commutes can make planning for healthy eating seem daunting. Luckily, some basic strategies can help steer kids toward healthy choices.

Periodic Table of Ecological Niches Could Aid in Predicting Effects of Climate Change

Periodic Table of Ecological Niches Could Aid in Predicting Effects of Climate Change

A Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus) in the reptile house at Alice Springs Desert Park, Alice Springs, Australia. Credit: Stu’s Images. Used via a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

A group of ecologists has started creating a periodic table of ecological niches similar to chemistry's periodic table. And just as chemists have used their periodic table as a point of reference to understand relationships among elements, the emerging table for ecologists shows relationships over time among animals, plants and their environments — acting as a critical resource for scientists seeking to understand how a warming climate may be spurring changes in species around the globe.

From Student to Philanthropist: Abell’s Transformational Gift Creates New Opportunities

From Student to Philanthropist: Abell’s Transformational Gift Creates New Opportunities

On her way to the library, part-time marine science student Mary Abell stumbled upon the bustle of arrangements being made for a Marine Science Advisory Council meeting.  At that time, little did she know that she and her husband, Joe would go on to have a lasting connection to The University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) which would become as strong and lasting as the granite jetties that border the Institute.

High Schoolers Get to Experience Real-World Scientific Research

High Schoolers Get to Experience Real-World Scientific Research

HRI student Hannah Hansen presents her research project at Austin High School.

In UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences, students dive into scientific research right from the start through the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI). Now a new program, the High School Research Initiative, is allowing high school students to do the same.

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