Tag Archives: McDonald Observatory

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Turns Its Lens to Universe’s Biggest Mysteries

When McDonald Observatory first opened its doors in 1933 it was done with a nearly million dollar donation from a Paris, Texas banker. In his will, W.J.McDonald gave money to the University of Texas at Austin to establish the observatory. … Continue reading

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Young, large, and in fast orbit: Texas Astronomers find New Exoplanet

This week Texas astronomers announced their discovery of a giant new exoplanet, which orbits close to its star. It’s a young planet: only 11 million years old. And it’s a large planet: 5 times the size of the Earth. What’s … Continue reading

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Texas Astronomers Witness Impact of Supernova on Neighboring Star

Texas astronomers announced another discovery this week. A team at the University of Texas at Austin witnessed the impact of an exploding star on a neighboring star. A white dwarf is a dense, low-mass star, in the late stages of … Continue reading

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Discovery of New Planet at McDonald Observatory in West Texas

The McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis announced Wednesday the discovery of a new planet. It’s located in the Hyadesstar cluster. The planet is K2-25B. The lead astronomer with the discovery is Andrew Mann. It’s a warm afternoon on top of … Continue reading

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Texas Astronomer Solves Decades-Old Mystery About Aging Stars

New research led by Texas Astronomer Dr. Natalie Gosnell, is shedding light on a longstanding mystery about certain stars called “blue stragglers” – stars that appear bluer in color and hotter than they should be given their advanced age. Gosnell, a W. … Continue reading

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Kepler Space Telescope Discovers Most Earth-like Planet To Date

Big news this morning from NASA’s planet hunting mission. Dr. Mike Endl, a research scientist with The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory, spoke with the Texas Standard about the mission. Listen back to our episode of West Texas Talk with Dr. Endl … Continue reading

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For Astronomers’ Sake, Some Drillers Cut Their Lights

FORT DAVIS — As a cool breeze blew across the 6,800-foot mountain that Coyne Gibson stood on, he gazed at a night sky dotted with constellations, planets and meteors — all visible to the naked eye, thanks to the surrounding … Continue reading

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New Telescope Mirrors Will Help McDonald Observatory Researchers Study Dark Energy

Almost seven years ago, teams of engineers and scientists began designing mirrors for a telescope to study the universe’s dark energy. That’s the mysterious energy many scientists theorize the universe is largely made up of. No such mirrors had ever … Continue reading

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Texas Astronomers Discover an Ancient Solar System

It’s been a busy start to the new year for astronomers at the McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis. In January, researchers announced their discovery of what they describe as a black hole “choking” on a star, and the observatory has also … Continue reading

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Astronomers Find Black Hole Choking on a Star

A team of astronomers at the McDonald Observatory have reported a remarkable discovery – a black hole choking on a star. The discovery came as the team was searching for supernovae – exploding stars that produce an extremely bright flash in the sky. They were … Continue reading

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