News

From the College of Natural Sciences
Astronomers Find Faintest Early Galaxies Yet, Probe How the Early Universe Lit Up

Astronomers Find Faintest Early Galaxies Yet, Probe How the Early Universe Lit Up

Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new technique to discover the faintest galaxies yet seen in the early universe —10 times fainter than any previously seen.

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.

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.

Gravitational Waves Discovery Has Deep UT Connections

Gravitational Waves Discovery Has Deep UT Connections

The recent detection of gravitational waves at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which is partially led by executive director and University of Texas at Austin alumnus David Reitze, has even deeper roots at UT Austin.

Physics Alum a Lead on Gravitational Waves Discovery

Physics Alum a Lead on Gravitational Waves Discovery

People all over the world tuned in this morning when David Reitze, a 1990 graduate of the Department of Physics at UT Austin, described what happened back in September.

UT Astronomer Solves Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars

UT Astronomer Solves Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars

Astronomer Natalie Gosnell has used Hubble Space Telescope to better understand why some stars aren't evolving as predicted. These so-called "blue stragglers" look hotter and bluer than they should for their advanced age. It's almost as if they were somehow reinvigorated to look much younger than they really are.

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.
Texas Astronomers Help Find Earth’s Older, Bigger Cousin

Texas Astronomers Help Find Earth’s Older, Bigger Cousin

University of Texas at Austin astronomers working with NASA’s Kepler mission have helped to discover the first near-Earth-sized planet around a Sun-like star in the “habitable zone,” the range of distances where liquid water could pool on a planet’s surface. They used the university’s McDonald Observatory to help confirm the finding, which has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

UT Austin, International Partners Approve Start of Construction for Giant Magellan Telescope

UT Austin, International Partners Approve Start of Construction for Giant Magellan Telescope

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) has announced a major milestone today with 11 international partners including The University of Texas at Austin unanimously approving its construction, securing the future of the project with more than $500 million to begin work on the world's most powerful optical telescope. The decision initiates final design and fabrication of the GMT, which is poised to become the largest optical telescope in existence.