The Assembly of Disk Galaxies


Susan Kassin

Space Telescope Science Institute

host: Rachael Livermore

Tues., Oct. 6, 3:30 PM · RLM 15.216B

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NGC 2841 [STScI]

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giant mirror spincasting

Arizona's Richard Caris Mirror Lab Dedicated; Casting Begins for Giant Magellan Telescope Mirror No. 4

The University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab has been renamed to honor astronomy benefactor Richard Caris, who donated $20 million towards Arizona's share of the Giant Magellan Telescope. A special dedication event was attended by academic leadership, elected officials, a congressional delegation, and members of the GMTO board. The world renowned lab fired GMT primary mirror segment no. 4 to coincide with the event. The 8.4 meter segment, one of seven, will reach 2120°F, spinning at 5 rpm, drop quickly to 900°F, and then cool slowly over three months. (photo: Matthew Scott) more..

light curve of kic 4552982

Pulsating Dying Stars Suffer from 'Irregular Heartbeats'

Some dying stars suffer from ‘irregular heartbeats,’ research led by astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Warwick has discovered. The team discovered rapid brightening events — outbursts — in two otherwise normal pulsating white dwarf stars. "It’s the discovery of an entirely new phenomenon," said graduate student Keaton Bell of The University of Texas at Austin. Bell reported the first pulsating white dwarf to show these outbursts, KIC 4552982, in a recent issue of The Astrophysical Journal. more..

artist's conception

Texas Astronomers Help Discover Near-Earth-Sized Planet in Habitable Zone of a Sun-Like Star

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. "We are pushing toward Earth 2.0,” McDonald Observatory astronomer Michael Endl said. “This planet is probably the most similar to Earth yet found." more..

Frank N. Bash Visitor's Center

McDonald Observatory in West Texas welcomes the public with star parties, tours, exhibits, talks, special programs, and continuing education for teachers. Join us! in the beautiful Davis Mountains under some of the darkest skies in the continental United States.


The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment will look back in time billions of years, and sample nearly one million galaxies, to map the expansion rate of the early universe. Learn more at

Giant Magellan Telescope

The University of Texas at Austin is a founding member of the consortium to build the world's largest ground based telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in La Serena, Chile. Construction is well under way. Learn more..

1 October 2015
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin
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