If you gaze long enough into a dark sky, it seems like you can see forever. That’s not quite the case, but you can come close: The most distant object that’s easily visible to the unaided eye, the Andromeda galaxy, is 2.5 million light-years away.
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The University of Texas System Board of Regents recently authorized UT Austin to spend $50 million to participate in building the Giant Magellan Telescope project, which will be the world’s largest telescope when it’s completed in 2020. The project will give students, researchers and faculty the opportunity to make groundbreaking discoveries in astronomy.
Ivan Ramirez has identified the first “sibling” of the Sun — a star that was almost certainly born from the same cloud of gas and dust as our star. Ramirez’ methods will help other astronomers find other “solar siblings,” work that could lead to an understanding of how and where our Sun formed, and how our solar system became hospitable for life.
Click to visit our YouTube channel to view this new 15-minute video overview of McDonald Observatory. Narrated by StarDate's Sandy Wood, it discusses our history and the cutting-edge science happening here today.