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Closest Star, Proxima Centauri, has a Planet

An team of astronomers including McDonald Observatory's Michael Endl have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun. Called 'Proxima b,' it's closest known exoplanet to us, and may be the closest possible abode for life outside our solar system.

A New Kind of Black Hole

Aaron Smith and Volker Bromm have discovered evidence for a new kind of black hole born extremely early in the universe.

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.

Young 'Super-Neptune' Offers Clues to Close-in Exoplanets

A team led by Andrew Mann has confirmed the existence of a the youngest 'super-Neptune' yet — a planet about five times the size of Earth. The discovery lends unique insights into the origin of planetary system architectures.

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.

Black Holes Lead to 'Red Geysers'

Niv Drory and partners from the Sloan Digitial Sky Survey have discovered a new class of galaxies called 'red geysers.'