UT Experiment Grapples With Essence of Gravity

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Blue sky reflects in the primary mirror of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory in this aerial view. The mirror is made of 91 individual segments. A dark instrument platform, which sits at the top of the telescope, partially obscures the mirror.
Blue sky reflects in the primary mirror of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory in this aerial view. The mirror is made of 91 individual segments. A dark instrument platform, which sits at the top of the telescope, partially obscures the mirror.

Beset by the threat of natural disasters and potential funding difficulties, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment at the University of Texas' McDonald Observatory could turn gravity’s time-honored laws on their head.

A Clash Over Water in Central Texas

Residents of Lake Travis have extended staircases and moved docks further out to accommodate lower lake levels. Some say the declining levels are bringing down property values.
Residents of Lake Travis have extended staircases and moved docks further out to accommodate lower lake levels. Some say the declining levels are bringing down property values.

The state's record dry spell has rice farmers, growing cities and a proposed coal plant competing for water from drought-stricken lakes. This is the first in a five-part print and radio series, "Water Fight," with KUT News.

The Circus is Coming

Texas Weekly

Brace yourselves. There's still a possibility it won't happen, but brace yourselves nevertheless, because in some ways it’s happening already.

Video: Perry's Speech in New Orleans

Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on June 18, 2011
Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on June 18, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry fired up the party faithful at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Saturday. Watch C-SPAN's video of his speech, which clearly shows he's nodding to a national audience.

Dwindling Lakes, Growing Water Demand in Central Texas

Residents of Lake Travis have extended staircases and moved docks further out to accommodate lower lake levels. Some say the declining levels are bringing down property values.
Residents of Lake Travis have extended staircases and moved docks further out to accommodate lower lake levels. Some say the declining levels are bringing down property values.

The current drought, drier than any other October-through-May stretch in Texas history, has heightened the stakes in an already contentious long-term planning battle over water from the Highland Lakes.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 6/13/11

Aaronson and Murphy visualize what happened to the nearly 5,800 bills introduced in the 82nd Lege, Aaronson, Hasson and Swicegood interactively recap the budget battle, Aguliar on the surge in illegal re-entry cases prosecuted by the Obama administration, Galbraith on a coal plant that wants a water deal from the LCRA, Grissom interviews a man wrongly imprisoned and nearly executed — twice, Hamilton on a controversial UT regent who wants a do-over in the debate over higher ed reform, Ramshaw on the continuing fight over pre-abortion sonograms, Root on Rick Perry's newsmaking trip to NYC and M. Smith on whether cash-strapped school districts will raise taxes: The best of our best content from June 13 to 17, 2011.

Midland and Odessa Grapple With Water Concerns

Trees that were once mostly submerged are now high and dry in the southwestern portion of O.H. Ivie Reservoir southeast of Ballinger Texas. The reservoir is less than 30 percent full, as of April 20 2011.
Trees that were once mostly submerged are now high and dry in the southwestern portion of O.H. Ivie Reservoir southeast of Ballinger Texas. The reservoir is less than 30 percent full, as of April 20 2011.

In parts of the Permian Basin, less than 0.2 inches of rain has fallen since September. As the drought grows increasingly dire, officials and residents are taking more drastic measures to reduce water use.