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From the College of Natural Sciences
Black Hole Chokes on a Swallowed Star

Black Hole Chokes on a Swallowed Star

A five-year analysis of an event captured by a tiny telescope at McDonald Observatory and followed up by telescopes on the ground and in space has led astronomers to believe they witnessed a giant black hole tear apart a star. The work is published this month in The Astrophysical Journal.

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...
Leading Astronomer Taft Armandroff Appointed Director of UT’s McDonald Observatory

Leading Astronomer Taft Armandroff Appointed Director of UT’s McDonald Observatory

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Astronomer Taft Armandroff has been appointed the new director of the College of Natural Sciences McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas.

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Six Top Stories that Captured Imaginations Far and Wide

Six Top Stories that Captured Imaginations Far and Wide

It was a big year for science in the College of Natural Sciences. "Aren't they all?" you might be asking yourself. Point taken. Of course our faculty, postdocs, staff and students are at the forefront of discovery.

Though not all of the amazing work happening in the labs around this campus spread across the Interwebs like crazy ants (ahem), here we present the top six stories of 2013 that did. These are the stories that went particularly viral, catching the eyes and minds of many. Hook 'em!

Texas Astronomer Discovers Most Distant Known Galaxy

Texas Astronomer Discovers Most Distant Known Galaxy

University of Texas at Austin astronomer Steven Finkelstein has led a team that has discovered and measured the distance to the most distant galaxy ever found. The galaxy is seen as it was at a time just 700 million years after the Big Bang.

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Astronomy Major is Top Student Employee

Astronomy Major is Top Student Employee

Kevin Luecke is the 2012-13 Student Employee of the Year.

Three Faculty Members Named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Faculty chosen for their scientifically distinguished efforts to advance science and its applications.

Texas Astronomers Measure Most Massive, Most Unusual Black Hole Using Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Texas Astronomers Measure Most Massive, Most Unusual Black Hole Using Hobby-Eberly Telescope

The unusual black hole makes up 14 percent of its galaxy's mass, rather than the usual 0.1 percent, and lies 220 million light-years away in the constellation Perseus.
The White Widow Model: A New Scenario for the Birth of Type Ia Supernovae

The White Widow Model: A New Scenario for the Birth of Type Ia Supernovae

Astronomer J. Craig Wheeler has a new idea on the identity of the "parents" of one of the most important types of supernovae in the universe.