The Assembly of Disk Galaxies
Space Telescope Science Institute
host: Rachael Livermore
Tues., Oct. 6, 3:30 PM ·
NGC 2841 [STScI]
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..
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..
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..