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April 2009 Newsletter PDF Print E-mail
There has been a lot happening as of late in the world of astronomy and in this edition we will cover only a small fraction of those goings on, but none the less, we still have some very exciting news to report to all you space fans out there trekking your way across cyber-world. Recent findings strongly suggest the presence of liquid salt water on Mars, it appears we are in a deep solar minimum, a new technique is uncovering exoplanets in old Hubble archival data, and results from the Spitzer space telescope show that some chemicals thought to be necessary for life (as we know it) may not be present around all stars. So lets jump into it shall we.....
New Mexico Skies PDF Print E-mail

Three Professors and a Telescope

Image above: from left to right; Mr. Marc Wetzel, Dr. Juan Carlos Reina, Dr. David Wood, and Mr. Alfred Alaniz standing in front of the T.O.R.R.E. telescope.

In a recent visit to the McDonald observatory Dr. Juan Carlos Reina, astronomy professor at Houston Community College (HCC), along with Dr. David Wood and Mr. Alfred Alaniz, both astronomy professors with the Alamo Community College District (ACCD), got the chance to tour the world renowned McDonald site and look at the housing and equipment for the T.O.R.R.E. (Texas Outreach for Remote Research and Education) telescope facility. The T.O.R.R.E. site will house a refurbished 30-inch telescope that will allow observers in areas where the seeing isn’t so good to have access to top of the line equipment and resources. HCC and Rice University are cooperating on the project, and now San Antonio College with a strong Astronomy department and part of the large Alamo Community College District will join them. They aim to expand the ability of teachers and students in astronomy and space science by providing remote access for observation of the night sky, including research opportunities that would be near impossible without the level of equipment that the program will provide.

A Trip to the McDonald Observatory PDF Print E-mail

Dr. Chris Johns-Krull from Rice University and Dr. Juan Carlos Reina from Houston Community College, TORRE project's PI and Co-PI, made a recent visit to the facilities at the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis TX to tour the site of the future T.O.R.R.E. telescope and see the vast array of resources at one of the world's most renowned observatories, including the massive Hobby-Eberly Telescope. Click on the PDF link to view a slide show of the trip with details about the T.O.R.R.E. project.

PDF Presentation

For a complete photo gallery from this trip click here