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Discovering a Supernova Companion

Howie Marion's team found the best evidence yet for the type of binary star system that leads to a Type Ia supernova, improving understanding of violent star death and the use of supernovae to trace the history of the universe's expansion.

Giant Magellan Telescope Breaks Ground in Chile

 McDonald Observatory leaders and supporters, along with representatives from an international group of partner universities and research institutions, are gathering on a remote mountaintop high in the Chilean Andes today to celebrate groundbreaking for the Giant Magellan Telescope.

Just-Discovered Hyades Planet Has Potential

Andrew Mann and colleagues have discovered a planet in a nearby star cluster which could help astronomers better understand how planets form and evolve.

HET dome

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Sees First Light

After several years and a massive team effort, one of the world’s largest telescopes has opened its giant eye again. After a $25-million upgrade, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope now uses more of its primary mirror and has achieved 'first light' as the world’s third-largest optical telescope.

blue straggler illustration

Solving the Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars

Natalie Gosnell has used Hubble Space Telescope to better understand why some stars aren’t evolving as predicted. These so-called 'blue stragglers' look hotter and bluer than they should for their advanced age. It's almost as if they were somehow reinvigorated to look much younger than they really are.