Media contact: Sue Stevens, (817)
ARLINGTON—On the heels of opening its state-of-the art planetarium,
one of the largest in the nation, The University of Texas at Arlington has
received a $14,000 grant from NASA to develop a new planetarium show.
The show, titled "Starlight and Life in the Cosmos," will be based
on the observations secured with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic
Explorer (FUSE). Assistant Professor Manfred Cuntz, who was part of
the NASA/FUSE program, said it was aimed at studying far-UV radiation from
K-type main-sequence stars of different stellar age. FUSE is a
NASA-supported astrophysics mission that was launched June 24, 1999, to
universe, using the technique of high-resolution
spectroscopy. K-type main-sequence stars are somewhat cooler and less
massive than the sun, but are much more numerous. Therefore, these stars
are expected to be highly relevant to astrobiology.
The new planetarium show will explore the key role the stars play in
the evolution of planets and their suitability for life.
work with Planetarium Director Robert Bonadurer to develop the new
The underlying FUSE observing program involves a
multi-institutional collaboration led by Dr. Edward F. Guinan, Professor
of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, who
will be contributing to the presentation.
Cuntz said he expects
production on the show to occur this summer.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an equal
opportunity/affirmative action employer.