University of Texas at Austin astronomer Bill Cochran is one of the leading scientists involved in searching 100,000 nearby stars in our Milky Way galaxy for planets like Earth as part of NASA's Kepler mission launching tomorrow (March 6).
Texas Astronomer Makes First Ground-Based Detection of Extra-Solar Planet Atmosphere, Using Hobby-Eberly Telescope
University of Texas at Austin astronomer and Hubble Fellow Seth Redfield has used the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at McDonald Observatory to make the first ground-based detection of the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system.
Texas Astronomers Discover Multi-Planet System Around Unexpected Star; May Alter Theories of Planet Formation
University of Texas at Austin astronomers William Cochran and Michael Endl, working with graduate students Robert Wittenmyer and Jacob Bean, have used the 9.2-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at McDonald Observatory to discover a system of two Jupiter-like planets orbiting a star whose composition might seem to rule out planet formation. This NASA-funded study has implications for theories of planet formation.