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From the College of Natural Sciences
Creating Star Stuff on Earth is the Aim of New $7 Million Project

Creating Star Stuff on Earth is the Aim of New $7 Million Project

To re-create the surface of a white dwarf star, UT Austin astronomer Don Winget and colleagues use the Z-machine, which converts the amount of electricity needed to power a few TV sets for the evening into a burst of energy greater than that produced by all the power plants in the world. The result: a tiny chunk of a star. Photo credit: University of Texas at Austin.

Astrophysicists will conduct experiments designed to re-create the physical environment inside stars, with a new $7 million grant that the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has awarded to The University of Texas at Austin. This work could help astronomers reduce uncertainties about the sizes and ages of super-dense objects known as white dwarf stars.

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Paul Goldbart Appointed Dean of UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences

Paul Goldbart Appointed Dean of UT Austin’s College of Natural Sciences

Paul Goldbart

The University of Texas at Austin has named Paul Goldbart the next dean of the College of Natural Sciences. His appointment will begin Aug. 1, and he will hold the Robert E. Boyer Chair in Natural Sciences.

Three Undergraduates Selected as 2018 Goldwater Scholars

Three Undergraduates Selected as 2018 Goldwater Scholars

Juniors Logan Pearce, Griffin Glenn and Jenna McGuffey were awarded the prestigious 2018 Goldwater Scholarship. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

Three College of Natural Sciences undergraduates have been selected as 2018 Goldwater Scholars. Griffin Glenn, Logan Pearce and Jenna McGuffey are among 208 college students nationwide who received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship given in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Chemist and Astronomer Selected as 2018 Cottrell Scholars

Chemist and Astronomer Selected as 2018 Cottrell Scholars

Sean Roberts and Stella Offner have been named 2018 Cottrell Scholars.

Two UT Austin College of Natural Sciences faculty members have been named 2018 Cottrell Scholars by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA). This marks only the third time that a university has received two awards in the same year since they were first given in 1994.

Galaxy Movements Challenge Dark Matter Model

Galaxy Movements Challenge Dark Matter Model

Centaurus A. Photo courtesy of NASA.

A University of Texas at Austin astronomer has published a commentary in the journal Science noting that a new study on the movement of galaxies has the potential to either reinforce or change our understanding of how dark matter contributes to the motion of galaxies.

Two Postdocs Receive Fellowships to Study Extrasolar Planets

Two Postdocs Receive Fellowships to Study Extrasolar Planets

Two postdoctoral fellows in the Department of Astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin have received the 51 Pegasi b Fellowship from the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Texas’ Caitlin Casey Receives 2018 Pierce Prize from American Astronomical Society

Texas’ Caitlin Casey Receives 2018 Pierce Prize from American Astronomical Society

Dr. Caitlin Casey of The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize by the American Astronomical Society today at its semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The organization awards the prize each year for "outstanding early-career achievement in observational astronomical research based on measurements of radiation from an astronomical object."

Discovery of New Planet Reveals Distant Solar System to Rival Our Own

Discovery of New Planet Reveals Distant Solar System to Rival Our Own

With the discovery of an eighth planet, the Kepler-90 system is the first to tie with our solar system in number of planets. (Click to expand) Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel.

The discovery of an eighth planet circling the distant star Kepler-90 by University of Texas at Austin astronomer Andrew Vanderburg and Google's Christopher Shallue overturns our solar system's status as having the highest number of known planets. We're now in a tie.

16 Inspiring and Eye-Opening Texas Science Stories of 2017

16 Inspiring and Eye-Opening Texas Science Stories of 2017

It's been a busy year for scientists and researchers at the College of Natural Sciences. Discoveries, findings, advancements and technology developed right here made news around the world. Here are just a few of the top science stories of 2017.

Texas Astronomers Will Lead Early Studies with $8 Billion James Webb Space Telescope

Texas Astronomers Will Lead Early Studies with $8 Billion James Webb Space Telescope

A full-sized model of the James Webb Space Telescope is seen in Austin during the South by Southwest festival in 2013.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is expected to launch in 2019 after decades of development. Now the agency has announced the scientists who will use the $8 billion telescope first, testing its instruments to prove it's in good working order. Steven Finkelstein, an associate professor of astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin, leads one of the chosen Early Release Science projects as principal investigator.