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From the College of Natural Sciences
Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dedicated, Enabling Dark Energy Survey and More

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dedicated, Enabling Dark Energy Survey and More

The world's third-largest telescope, the 10-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) located at McDonald Observatory in West Texas, has completed a multiyear $40 Million upgrade to enable it to take on the biggest challenges in astronomy today: unraveling the mystery of dark energy, probing distant galaxies and black holes, discovering and characterizing planets around other stars and much more. The HET Board is celebrating with a dedication ceremony today.

UT Astronomer Reflects on Discovery of Gravitational Waves

UT Astronomer Reflects on Discovery of Gravitational Waves

One year ago, an international team of scientists detected the first direct evidence of gravitational waves. UT Austin astronomer Karl Gebhardt recently sat down with the Houston Chronicle's Kim McGuire to talk about his work, which focuses on both black holes and dark energy. He also reflected on the significance of the gravitational wave discovery.

As Hunt for Sterile Neutrino Continues, Mystery Deepens

As Hunt for Sterile Neutrino Continues, Mystery Deepens

Physicists have hypothesized the existence of fundamental particles called sterile neutrinos for decades and a couple of experiments have even caught possible hints of them. However, according to new results from two major international consortia, the chances that these indications were right and that these particles actually exist are now much slimmer.

Talking Dark Matter, Particle Physics with Professor Can Kilic

Talking Dark Matter, Particle Physics with Professor Can Kilic

​Dr. Can Kilic, an assistant professor and researcher in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin, specializes in theoretical particle physics, the Standard Model, and dark matter models. Dr. Kilic sat with the UT Physics newswriting team to discuss his research, his teaching, and his hopes for the future of science.

Audio: The Race for Dark Energy

Audio: The Race for Dark Energy

This is the second of a three-part series on general relativity.

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, which describes how gravity works, turns 100 this month. The theory has successfully explained a lot of what we observe out in the universe; but there are signs that it's incomplete. In the 1990s, astronomers observed that the expansion of the universe is speeding up, as if some mysterious force is pushing everything apart faster and faster. Nearly 20 years later, one of the biggest unanswered questions in science is: what is this dark energy? Not only was dark energy not predicted by general relativity, but its mere existence might mean that the theory needs to be tweaked or even replaced.

Giant Magellan Telescope, World’s Largest, Breaks Ground in Chilean Desert

Giant Magellan Telescope, World’s Largest, Breaks Ground in Chilean Desert

Leaders and supporters from The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory, along with representatives from an international group of partner universities and research institutions, are gathering on a remote mountaintop high in the Chilean Andes today to celebrate groundbreaking for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT).

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Sees First Light

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Sees First Light

After several years and a massive team effort, one of the world's largest telescopes has opened its giant eye again. The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory has completed a $25 million upgrade and, now using more of its primary mirror, has achieved "first light" as the world's third-largest optical telescope.

The dome of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope sits in front of a backdrop of blue sky. Photo by Ethan Tweedie Photography.
Capping Decades of Searching, Scientists Observe Elusive Particle That is its own Antiparticle

Capping Decades of Searching, Scientists Observe Elusive Particle That is its own Antiparticle

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University have observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a breakthrough that could eventually enable powerful computers based on quantum mechanics.

Head Room: McDonald Observatory

Head Room: McDonald Observatory

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.

UT Austin to Become Partner in Construction of World’s Largest Telescope

UT Austin to Become Partner in Construction of World’s Largest Telescope

The University of Texas System Board of Regents Friday authorized UT Austin to spend $50 million in research reserves to participate in building the Giant Magellan Telescope, which will be the world’s largest telescope when it’s completed in 2020. The project will give students, researchers and faculty the opportunity to make groundb...