A team of scientists including The University of Texas at Austin’s Dr. William Cochran has discovered a solar system similar to our own dating back to the dawn of our Milky Way galaxy. They are reporting the find of five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus orbiting the Sun-like star Kepler-444 in today’s issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
FORT DAVIS, Texas — A five-year analysis of an event captured by a tiny telescope at McDonald Observatory and followed up by telescopes on the ground and in space has led astronomers to believe they witnessed a giant black hole tear apart a star. The work is published this month in The Astrophysical Journal.
FORT DAVIS — Craig Nance begins his tenure as Superintendent of McDonald Observatory today. The Superintendent is the on-site manager of the Observatory.
“Craig brings strong management experience, extensive engineering background, love of astronomy, and excellent performance in a very similar position,” at Mount Graham International Observatory, said McDonald director Dr. Taft Armandroff.
AUSTIN — Astronomers from McDonald Observatory are providing input to the National Research Council (NRC) on a variety of topics in response to a community-wide request from the council in late August. The NRC has a committee on optical and infrared astronomy that is seeking input on topics important to the future of the field in the United States in the era of the forthcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).
My father, R. Edward Nather, passed away on August 13, 2014. He was one of McDonald Observatory's most illustrious astronomers. Would you believe that when he passed at age 87, he still kept his observing suit?
All of you have "Ed Stories," so here is one of mine. In 1976, I was 6 years old and the youngest of Dad's children. That Christmas, Dad told my siblings and me that we had to spend the holiday at "the observatory," which to my child's ears simply meant "someplace foreign and unfamiliar."
Pasadena, CA – The Board of Directors of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization is pleased to announce the appointment of Edward I. Moses, Ph.D., as President of their organization. Moses, former Principal Associate Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will lead the organization responsible for the development of the billion dollar, 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). The University of Texas at Austin is a founding partner in the GMT project.
FORT DAVIS — For the past year, McDonald Observatory has celebrated its 75th anniversary via events around the state. Now that those events have concluded, the arrival of a piece of the observatory’s history puts a cap on the anniversary year.
After years of hearing StarDate on NPR, I knew that the McDonald Observatory was a worthy destination on my Hemicentennial (50th Birthday) Celebration roadtrip. I decided to leave Seattle and drive to various astronomy-related sites ending with a visit to the McDonald Observatory (and my son who was living in Marfa). I started in Seattle and drove to The Griffith observatory in L.A., Kitt Peak Observatory in Tucson, the VLA in Soccoro, NM, and finally to the McDonald in Ft. Davis.
Joint news release with the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization
Astronomers from The University of Texas at Austin and Penn State University have solved a mystery surrounding controversial signals coming from a dwarf star considered to be a prime target in the search for extraterrestrial life. The team has proven that the signals suspected to come from two planets orbiting the star at a distance where liquid water could potentially exist (so-called “Goldilocks planets,” whose orbits are just right), actually are coming from the star itself.