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UT Astronomers Lead Webb Space Telescope Projects

UT astronomers are set to lead some of the largest programs in the first year of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, including the largest project overall. Set to launch this Halloween, the telescope will become operational by mid-2022.

Honoring Organizations for Night Sky Friendly Lighting

McDonald Observatory is announcing a new program to honor West Texas businesses and organizations for Night Skies Friendly Lighting practices. These practices keep light on the ground and out of the sky, helping to preserve the exceptional night skies for which far West Texas is famous.

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HETDEX Project On Track to Probe Dark Energy

Three years into its quest to reveal the nature of dark energy, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is on track to complete the largest map of the cosmos ever. The team will create a three-dimensional map of 2.5 million galaxies that will help astronomers understand how and why the expansion of the universe is speeding up over time.

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Sixth Mirror Cast for Giant Magellan Telescope

The University of Texas at Austin and other GMT partners the fabrication of the sixth of seven of the world’s largest monolithic mirrors. These mirrors will allow astronomers to see farther into the universe with more detail than any other optical telescope before.

Planet Hugging a Dead Star May Have Survived its Death Throes

A team of astronomers led by our Andrew Vanderburg has used the TESS and Spitzer space telescopes to discover what may be the first intact planet found closely orbiting a white dwarf, the dense leftover of a sun-like star. The work included follow-up observations with our Hobby-Eberly Telescope.