Featured UT Austin, International Partners Approve Start of Construction for Giant Magellan Telescope
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The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) has announced a major milestone today with 11 international partners including The University of Texas at Austin unanimously approving its construction, securing the future of the project with more than $500 million to begin work on the world's most powerful optical telescope. The decision initiates final design and fabrication of the GMT, which is poised to become the largest optical telescope in existence.

Featured Happy 25th Anniversary, Hubble Space Telescope
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Like a newborn's foggy vision slowly coming into focus, the Hubble Space Telescope has enabled humanity to see more clearly than ever before the world beyond our noses, a cosmos of contradictions: incandescent and quiescent, violent and benevolent, chaotic and orderly.

Featured Astronomy Outreach Program Takes Texas Teachers on Trip of a Lifetime
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A Department of Astronomy outreach program achieved the culmination of 17 years of hard work recently when several Texas teachers flew as part of the science team aboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

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Astronomer Andrew Mann of The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded a Hubble Fellowship from NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute, science center for the Hubble Space Telescope.

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A team of scientists including The University of Texas at Austin’s Dr. William Cochran has discovered a solar system similar to our own dating back to the dawn of our Milky Way galaxy. They are reporting the find of five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus orbiting the Sun-like star Kepler-444 in today’s issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

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A five-year analysis of an event captured by a tiny telescope at McDonald Observatory and followed up by telescopes on the ground and in space has led astronomers to believe they witnessed a giant black hole tear apart a star. The work is published this month in The Astrophysical Journal.

Featured Head Room: McDonald Observatory
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Take a trip out to Fort Davis, under some of the darkest skies in North America, and meet the telescopes that are making astronomical history. Learn more at McDonald Observatory's websiteVideo by Jeff Mertz.

Featured Leading Astronomer Taft Armandroff Appointed Director of UT’s McDonald Observatory
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Astronomer Taft Armandroff has been appointed the new director of the College of Natural Sciences McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas.

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University of Texas at Austin astronomer Steven Finkelstein has led a team that has discovered and measured the distance to the most distant galaxy ever found. The galaxy is seen as it was at a time just 700 million years after the Big Bang.

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The unusual black hole makes up 14 percent of its galaxy's mass, rather than the usual 0.1 percent, and lies 220 million light-years away in the constellation Perseus.
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Astronomer J. Craig Wheeler has a new idea on the identity of the "parents" of one of the most important types of supernovae in the universe.

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With its role in the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope, the McDonald Observatory continues to push forward the frontiers of astronomical science.

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The discovery of the Tatooine-like system proves that whole planetary systems can form in a disk around a binary star.

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The white dwarf stars are so close together that they make a complete orbit in less than 13 minutes.