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From the College of Natural Sciences
Amateur Scientists Have Helped Astronomers Identify Nearly a Quarter-Million Galaxies

Amateur Scientists Have Helped Astronomers Identify Nearly a Quarter-Million Galaxies

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope collects images that citizen scientists use to identify galaxies in the Dark Energy Explorers project.

Astronomers on a historically ambitious and massive galaxy-mapping mission have activated more than 10,000 amateur scientists in 85 countries to help in their quest. Now they hope to significantly scale up their volunteer force for a unique project that could reveal for the first time the nature of dark energy.

Postdoctoral Fellow Receives Inaugural NAS Science Communication Award

Postdoctoral Fellow Receives Inaugural NAS Science Communication Award

Arianna Long, a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin, was awarded one of the inaugural Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This award honors science journalists and research scientists who have developed creative, original work related to issues and advances in science, engineering, and/or medicine to inform the general public.

How Black Holes Might Have Influenced the First Stars

How Black Holes Might Have Influenced the First Stars

Just milliseconds after the universe's Big Bang, chaos reigned. Atomic nuclei fused and broke apart in hot, frenzied motion. Incredibly strong pressure waves built up and squeezed matter so tightly together that black holes formed, which astrophysicists call primordial black holes.

An artist's concept illustrates merging black holes. Credit: LIGO/Caltech/MIT/R. Hurt (IPAC).
UT Austin Leads in New Summary of Top "Degrees of the Future"

UT Austin Leads in New Summary of Top "Degrees of the Future"

A dozen offerings from The University of Texas at Austin were ranked among the nation's best "Degrees of the Future 2022" by Gizmodo. The ranking came in a new special report from the technology, science and culture publication dedicated to "honoring the universities preparing students for tomorrow."

Stars Shed Light on Why Stellar Populations Are So Similar in Milky Way

Stars Shed Light on Why Stellar Populations Are So Similar in Milky Way

Mock narrowband observation of a simulated star-forming region where massive stars destroy their parent cloud. Credit: STARFORGE

Scientists have uncovered what sets the masses of stars, a mystery that has captivated astrophysicists for decades. Their answer? Stars, themselves.

Wide View of Early Universe Hints at Galaxy Among the Earliest Ever Detected

Wide View of Early Universe Hints at Galaxy Among the Earliest Ever Detected

Members of the CEERS collaboration explore the first wide, deep field image from the James Webb Space Telescope at the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Visualization Lab on the UT Austin campus on July 21, 2022. Credit: Nolan Zunk/University of Texas at Austin.

Two new images from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope show what may be among the earliest galaxies ever observed. Both images include objects from more than 13 billion years ago, and one offers a much wider field of view than Webb's First Deep Field image, which was released amid great fanfare July 12. The images represent some of the first out of a major collaboration of astronomers and other academic researchers teaming with NASA and global partners to uncover new insights about the universe.

Investment from UT Austin, Other Partners Accelerates Construction of Giant Magellan Telescope

Investment from UT Austin, Other Partners Accelerates Construction of Giant Magellan Telescope

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a next-generation optical/infrared telescope being developed in northern Chile that will yield important discoveries on topics such as galaxies in the early universe and Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby stars.

Artists' concept of the Giant Magellan Telescope. Image credit: Giant Magellan Telescope - GMTO Corporation.
Race to Find Earliest Galaxy Heats Up

Race to Find Earliest Galaxy Heats Up

Maisie's galaxy, imaged by the James Webb Space Telescope, may be among the earliest ever observed. Researchers estimate that we're seeing it as it was about 290 million years after the Big Bang.

In the past week, astronomers have been giddily sifting through the latest images from the James Webb Space Telescope and turning up golden nuggets nearly everywhere they look. Major news outlets including BBC, Nature, Space.com and CNET are reporting that several teams have found what appear to be a slew of galaxies seen much earlier than the earliest detected by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Worlds of Possibility: Gift Helps Unlock Secrets of the Universe

Worlds of Possibility: Gift Helps Unlock Secrets of the Universe

What starts here reveals the universe. A world-changing gift of $10 million from visionary philanthropist David Booth increases UT's access to the Giant Magellan Telescope, which will help students in the College of Natural Sciences peer far into the universe.

Natural Sciences Graduates Win Mitchell Awards

Natural Sciences Graduates Win Mitchell Awards

Students and recent graduates in the College of Natural Sciences were awarded the George H. Mitchell Award for Academic Excellence this spring. These awards honor students in STEM and other categories, with generous support provided by the University Co-op. The University of Texas at Austin recognized 12 undergraduate students this year for superior scholarly and creative achievements, highlighting the unparalleled dedication and achievement the students showed in their fields of study.