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Astronomers find giant planet around very young star Cl Tauri

A team of astronomers from Rice, Lowell Observatory, the University of Texas, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have discovered a giant planet in an environment that upends conventional wisdom, an intact circumstellar disk around a very young star.

Astronomy Now

Astronomers find giant planet around very young star Cl Tauri

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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..

Texas Astronomer Finds Youngest 'Super-Neptune'

AUSTIN — A team of astronomers led by Andrew Mann of The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed the existence of a young planet, only 11 million years old, that orbits extremely close to its star (at 0.05 AU), with an orbital period of 5.4 days. Approximately five times the size of Earth, the new planet is a "super-Neptune" and the youngest such planet known. The discovery lends unique insights into the origin of planetary system architectures. more..

artist's conception

Supermassive Black Holes Suppress Star Formation in New Class of Galaxy

For most of their lives, galaxies are lush environments for turning gas into stars. Until they aren’t. Over the last few billion years, a mysterious kind of “galactic warming” has turned huge numbers of galaxies into deserts devoid of fresh young stars. The puzzle for astronomers has been identifying the unknown process that keeps the gas in these dormant galaxies too hot and energetic to form stars. Today, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), including Dr. Niv Drory of The University of Texas at Austin, are announcing the discovery of a new class of galaxies called "red geysers" that harbor supermassive black holes with winds that have the power to keep dormant galaxies quiet. 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..

15 August 2016
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin
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