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From the College of Natural Sciences
Helping Students Promote Inclusion in Astrophysics

Helping Students Promote Inclusion in Astrophysics

Rolling up your sleeves and putting research to work is a big part of the Longhorn experience. Our students don't just learn about helping people. They are out there making these ideas a reality.

And they need your help.

Steven Weinberg On The Future of Quantum Mechanics

Steven Weinberg On The Future of Quantum Mechanics

Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, recently discussed some of his concerns about the use and interpretation of quantum mechanics at a gathering of science communicators hosted by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW).

The Last First Planetary Mission (Audio)

The Last First Planetary Mission (Audio)

​The New Horizons spacecraft brought humanity face to face with the last unexplored planet in our solar system: Pluto. What we're learning is amazing. But, time and again, the mission almost didn't happen. University of Texas at Austin alumnus Alan Stern describes the challenges, and the joys, of the last first mission to a planet.

Astronomers Discover Rocky Planet Orbiting Nearest Star, Proxima Centauri

Astronomers Discover Rocky Planet Orbiting Nearest Star, Proxima Centauri

An international team of astronomers including Michael Endl of The University of Texas at Austin have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun. The long-sought new world, called Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than Earth and is the closest known exoplanet to us — and may be the closest possible abode for life outside our solar system.

A New Kind of Black Hole, Once a Theory, Now Firmly within Observers’ Sight

A New Kind of Black Hole, Once a Theory, Now Firmly within Observers’ Sight

Astronomers Aaron Smith and Volker Bromm of The University of Texas at Austin, working with Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, have discovered evidence for an unusual kind of black hole born extremely early in the universe. 

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Young 'Super-Neptune' Offers Clues to Origin of Close-in Exoplanets

Young 'Super-Neptune' Offers Clues to Origin of Close-in Exoplanets

A team of astronomers led by Andrew Mann of The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed the existence of a young planet, only 11 million years old, that orbits extremely close to its star (at 0.05 AU), with an orbital period of 5.4 days. Approximately five times the size of Earth, the new planet is a "super-Neptune" and the youngest such planet known. The discovery lends unique insights into the origin of planetary system architectures.

The Unexpected Journey of a Veteran Student and Astronomer

The Unexpected Journey of a Veteran Student and Astronomer

The educational journey of one exceptional student has taken her from translating Arabic in the Air Force to learning the secrets of the stars.

Three Members of Natural Sciences Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Three Members of Natural Sciences Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Three members of the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin have been inducted into the University's respected Academy of Distinguished Teachers for 2016.

Radio Doc Features Research and Outreach at McDonald Observatory

Radio Doc Features Research and Outreach at McDonald Observatory

A radio documentary about The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory has garnered KRTS, or Marfa Public Radio, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for documentary news.

Newly discovered planet could shed light on planetary evolution

Newly discovered planet could shed light on planetary evolution

University of Texas at Austin astronomer Andrew Mann and colleagues have discovered a planet in a nearby star cluster which could help astronomers better understand how planets form and evolve. The discovery of planet K2-25b used both the Kepler space telescope and the university's McDonald Observatory, and is published in a recent issue of the Astrophysical Journal.