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GMT site in late October: all buildings on support site 2 and the summit have been constructed. Click the image to view video. [Credit: Ricardo Alcayaga]

Giant Magellan Telescope Site Update

Work continues at the GMT site at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Since August several significant stages have been completed. more...

[NASA, ESA, GOODS Team, M. Giavalisco]

There are way more galaxies in the universe than we thought

The Boston Globe

Imagine you woke up one morning to learn that instead of three siblings, you had 30. That's about what happened to our own Milky Way in new research published in October that calculates there are 2 trillion galaxies in the universe - 10 times more than previously estimated. more...

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Walter E. Massey and Taft Armandroff Selected to Lead Giant Magellan Telescope Board of Directors

PASADENA, CA - The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) today announced the appointment of Walter E. Massey, PhD, and Taft Armandroff, PhD, to the positions of Board Chair and Vice Chair, respectively. Continuing their involvement in new leadership capacities, Massey and Armandroff will guide the GMTO Board, overseeing the construction of the 24.5 meter Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) in the Chilean Andes and working to complete the partnership of universities, research institutions and private donors who will contribute to the construction and operation of the GMT. more..

artist's conception

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. The research will be published in the journal Nature on Aug 25. more..

dark matter filaments simulation

A New Species of Black Hole, "Direct-Collapse", Once a Theory, Now Firmly within Observers’ Sight

AUSTIN — 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. They showed that a recently discovered unusual source of intense radiation is likely powered by a “direct-collapse black hole,” a type of object predicted by theorists more than a decade ago. Their work is published today in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 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.

HETDEX

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 hetdex.org.

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..

8 December 2016
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin
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