University of Texas at Austin

Posts Tagged ‘star formation’


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Making white dwarfs in the desert

The “tongues of dragon flame” captured in this image are the leaked charge that emerges from the Z Machine when it fires. Images courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories.

The “tongues of dragon flame” captured in this image are the leaked charge that emerges from the Z Machine when it fires. Images courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories.

To re-create the surface of a white dwarf star, University of Texas at Austin astronomer Don Winget starts with roughly the electricity needed to power a few TV sets for the evening. He runs that through a ring of big old generators, all pointing inward toward the center of a machine more than 100
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Monday, January 24, 2011

The view from an airborne observatory

NASA's SOFIA observatory flies over the desert north of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on a test flight.

NASA’s SOFIA observatory flies over the desert north of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on a test flight.

University of Texas at Austin Astronomer Paul Harvey had a seat on one of the first flights of NASA’s new airborne observatory, SOFIA.

That acronym stands for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.

The observatory is a Boeing 747-SP aircraft equipped with a 100-inch diameter telescope. It flies at 40,000 feet or so to get above absorption from the water vapor in the atmosphere.

“You get the
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