The discovery of an eighth planet circling the distant star Kepler-90 by UT Austin astronomer Andrew Vanderburg and Google’s Christopher Shallue overturns our solar system’s status as having the highest number of known planets. We're now in a tie. The two used 'machine learning' to find the planet.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is expected to launch in 2019. Steven Finkelstein leads one of the chosen Early Release Science projects as principal investigator, and several other UT astronomers play important roles in other Webb projects.
An international team of researchers including Texas' Shingo Hirano has used a supercomputer simulation to recreate the formation of a massive black hole from supersonic gas streams left over from the Big Bang.