UA Science
Artist's rendering of CatSat in Earth orbit, with its inflatable, beachball-like antenna deployed.

UArizona's first satellite built by students is ready for launch

The sun barely peeks over the horizon as a suitcase-like transport box exits Steward Observatory, home to the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy. Inside, held snugly in place by foam, is precious cargo: CatSat, the university's first satellite built entirely by students. After loading it into the back of the car, Shae Henley and Walter Rahmer, both engineering students at UArizona, stretch one last time in preparation for the 660-mile trip from Tucson to Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Their mission: Deliver the satellite and fit it inside a Firefly rocket that will launch into low-Earth orbit as early as July 1. If everything goes according to plan, CatSat will orbit around Earth every 95 minutes, gathering data about space weather while using an inflatable antenna from FreeFall Aerospace and a state-of-the-art radio from Rincon Research Corporation. Read (or listen to) the story here!

Giant Magellan Telescope Enclosure Ready for Construction

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and IDOM today announced that the telescope’s enclosure, set to be one of the world’s largest astronomical facilities, passed its final design review and is now ready for construction in Chile. The review marks a major milestone for the telescope, which is now 40% under construction. This also marks an...

Native American representatives gather with UArizona leaders for third Tribal Leaders Summit

Tribal leaders from across the state gathered at the University of Arizona Monday to meet with campus leaders and discuss ways to strengthen partnerships between the university and tribal communities in Arizona.


UArizona graduate student and team discover most distant supernovas ever found

Peering deeply into the cosmos, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is giving scientists their first detailed glimpse of supernovas from a time when the universe was young.


Glimpses of a volcanic world: New LBT images of Jupiter's moon Io rival those from spacecraft

New images of Jupiter's volcano-studded moon Io, taken by the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham in Arizona, offer the highest resolution of Io ever achieved with an Earth-based instrument. The observations were made possible by a new high-contrast optical imaging instrument, dubbed...

James Webb Space Telescope spots the two most distant galaxies ever seen at cosmic dawn

When Kevin Hainline saw the data on his screen, he jumped up from his desk, startled by what he saw. In January 2023, Hainline – an associate research professor in the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory – was the first person to ever lay eyes on the galaxies JADES GS-z14-0 and the slightly less distant GS-z14-1. At the time of their discovery, these galaxies were merely two candidates among the hundreds Hainline had discovered, each one requiring careful follow-up observation to help confirm their extreme distances. Months later, standing over his desk, he had data confirming that the international team of astronomers working on the James Webb Space...

Steward Observatory’s Buell Jannuzi wins UArizona’s Distinguished Head/Director’s Award

This week, Buell Jannuzi, Head of the Department of Astronomy and Director of Steward Observatory, receives University of Arizona’s Distinguished Head/Director’s Award, an honor that reflects his abilities as a leader to engender trust, foster collaboration, and recruit and retain a diverse community of high-achieving staff, students and faculty.

"We are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated and effective leader for Steward Observatory and the Department of Astronomy,” said Regents’ Professor George Rieke. “In a limited-funding, highly-constrained environment he has, nevertheless, managed to extend and expand the ambition of the faculty and staff of the department and...

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