painter hall dome

Public Viewing Austin

RLM 16-in Telescope

Painter Hall 9-in Telescope


Skywatcher's Report


The Elusive and Ionized Gas Surrounding the Magellanic System


Kathleen Barger

Texas Christian University

Tues., Jan. 27, 3:30 PM
RLM 15.216B

Full Colloquium Schedule

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HET's Nitrogen Tank Installation

The HET Wide Field Upgrade advances on schedule with many crews taking delivery and assembling complex systems. The second VIRUS enclosure is scheduled for installation on the telescope this month. Construction of a clean room in the loading bay, to accept and test the 4 glass Spherical Aberration corrector from the University of Arizona, started in December. In the video above, a nitrogen tank is delivered and installed. Catch up at HET Blog.

Craig Nance is New Superintendent of McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory Press Release

5 January 2015

instrumentation development

McDonald Observatory Astronomers Advise National Research Council

McDonald Observatory Press Release

10 October 2014

Eminent Engineeer and Physicist Appointed to Lead Giant Magellan Telescope Project

Giant Magellan Telescope Organization News Release

3 September 2014

simulation of the epoch of reionization

[Park, Shapiro, Choi, D'Aloisio]

First Billion Years: The Epoch of Reionization

Prof. Paul Shapiro's Cosmology Research Group has performed one of the world's largest and most sophisticated computer simulations of the transformation of the early universe--from a featureless expanding gas, to a place where galaxies formed, stars formed within those galaxies, and radiation from the stars ionized the neutral hydrogen in the vast intergalactic regions.

The visualization is among a collection of images solicited by the College of Natural Sciences to illustrate the beauty of science.

View an excerpt of the simulation, and an explanation by Prof. Shapiro at:
Visualizing Science 2014: Beautiful Images From College Research

75th anniversary logo

McDonald Observatory

Under dark skies in West Texas, McDonald Observatory hosts a wide range of research telescopes and instrumentation for astronomers, including the 9.2 meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The observatory also welcomes the public, with exhibits and talks at the Frank N. Bash Visitor's Center, and regular star parties in the Rebecca Gale Telescope Park.

giant magellan telescope

Giant Magellan Telescope

The University of Texas at Austin is a partner in an international consortium of science institutions building the next generation, 24.5 meter, Giant Magellan Telescope at Las Campanas, Chile. Construction is underway at this premier viewing site. Preparation of the Spincasting oven for the fourth primary mirror continues into 2015 at Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab.

hobby-eberly telescope dark energy experiment

Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment

In August 2013, an upgrade began for the 9.2 meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope. A widened field of view, and 150 integral field spectrographs will give HET the ability to map the expansion of the early universe. Scheduled to begin in 2015, the HETDEX survey will precisely measure more than 800,000 galaxies, to examine their distribution as the universe evolved.

texas cosmology center

Texas Cosmology Center

The Texas Cosmology Center was established to facilitate interdisciplinary efforts in Cosmology between the departments of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. As a public outreach effort, four videos have been produced featuring Texas cosmologists, on Black Holes, Cosmic Inflation, Dark Energy and Dark Matter.



StarDate is a public education and outreach arm of McDonald Observatory. StarDate radio, featuring science, astronomy, and observing tips, airs daily on nearly 300 stations. Bi-monthly StarDate magazine features sky tips, charts, and astronomy and space exploration news. StarDate also offers resources to teachers, the media, and the public.