Topic: Astronomy

Texas Astronomers Measure Most Massive, Most Unusual Black Hole Using Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Nov. 28, 2012

Astronomers have used the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory to measure the mass of what may be the most massive black hole yet 17 billion times our sun's mass in galaxy NGC 1277. The unusual black hole makes up 14 percent of its galaxy's mass, rather than the usual 0.1 percent.

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Orionid Meteor Shower to Peak Oct. 20-21

Oct. 18, 2012

As it does each year, early fall brings crisper air, turning leaves and the Orionid meteor shower. This year's best viewing will be in the several hours around midnight Oct. 20 and before dawn on Oct. 21.

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NASA, Texas Astronomers Find First Multi-Planet System Around a Binary Star

Aug. 29, 2012

NASA's Kepler mission has found the first multi-planet solar system orbiting a binary star, characterized in large part by University of Texas at Austin astronomers using two telescopes at the university's McDonald Observatory in West Texas. The finding, which proves that whole planetary systems can form in a disk around a binary star, is published in today's issue of the journal Science.

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Astronomers Test Einstein in a New Regime Using Pair of Burnt-Out Stars

Aug. 28, 2012

A team of astronomers led by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed the emission of gravitational waves from the second-strongest known source in our galaxy by studying the shrinking orbital period of a unique pair of burnt-out stars. Their observations tested Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity in a new regime.

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Z Machine

Aug. 5, 2012
Z Machine

For the past few years astronomer Don Winget has been using the Z Machine, the world's largest x-ray generator, to create white dwarf "star stuff" here on earth.

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