News: McDonald Observatory

Read the latest news from the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin

McDonald Observatory

Astronomers Better Identify the Cygnus Loop’s Distance from Earth

Knowing how far away this supernova remnant is will help answer fundamental questions about what happens when stars explode.

A ghostly blue feature in the middle of a field of bright stars and the blackness of space

McDonald Observatory

Bass Foundation Gift Strengthens Outreach at McDonald Observatory

Updates to Field Station Network member McDonald Observatory will be in the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center and improve and expand the visitor experience.

Aerial view of an astronomical observatory set atop a mountain

McDonald Observatory

Giant Magellan Telescope Enclosure Ready for Construction

When completed in the early 2030s, the 213-foot-tall enclosure will be one of the largest mechanized buildings ever constructed.

A telescope dome under a starry sky at night with an open door and telescope visible inside


Texas Field Station Network Catalyzes Collaborations Across Field Sites

The recently announced largest-ever gift to the college is helping to bring new research synergies.

Natural landscape with orange brown grasses in the foreground, trees in the middle distance and a mountai top with telescope domes in the distance

McDonald Observatory

Galaxies Actively Forming in Early Universe Caught Feeding on Cold Gas

James Webb Space Telescope images reveal three galaxies that may be actively forming when the universe was only 400 to 600 million years old.

A swirl of blue-white gas and dust against a black background

McDonald Observatory

Astronomers Uncover Methane Emission on a Cold Brown Dwarf

The research team used the James Webb Space Telescope to make a surprising finding about a cold, distant world.

A planet-like object has many rings deep in space, with a pronounced ring at its top.


Is Cosmology in Crisis?

A panel of physicists and astronomers grapple with possible cracks in our modern creation myth, the standard model of cosmology.

A dramatic spiral galaxy with orange and red arms and a light blue center


NASA Awards Fellowships to Two UT Austin Postdocs

Jed McKinney and Cheng-Han Hsieh will pursue independent research in the formation of galaxies and solar systems.

Portraits of two scientists

McDonald Observatory

Astronomers Use James Webb Space Telescope to Probe an Extreme Starburst Galaxy

Messier 82, 12 million light-years away, is relatively compact but hosts a frenzy of star formation activity.

A galaxy with a ban of stars, bright spots and cosmic clouds appear from the blackness of space.

McDonald Observatory

UT Astronomy Graduate Student Receives Fellowship to Study Exoplanets

The Heising-Simons Foundation has awarded Quang Tran, Ph.D. candidate in UT astronomy, one of its eight prestigious 51 Pegasi b Fellowships.

A young scientist stands in a portico of an academic building