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.
Astronomers from The University of Texas at Austin and Wesleyan University have used the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at UT Austin’s McDonald Observatory to confirm that a Jupiter-size planet in a nearby solar system is dissolving, albeit excruciatingly slowly, because of interactions with its parent star. Their findings could help astronomers better understand star-planet interactions in other… » Continue Reading
NASA has announced the discovery of the first planet located in the "habitable zone" around a star — the "just-right" orbit that's not too hot or too cold for water to exist in liquid form, making life as we know it possible. Astronomers from The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory involved in this… » Continue Reading