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The Planetary Systems and Interstellar research groups have joined forces around a common theme, star and planet formation. Members of these groups address topics related to the solar system and other planetary systems, including star formation, protoplanetary disk formation and evolution, planetary atmospheres, comets and asteroids, and planetary nebulae. The University of Texas at Austin Astronomy Department also hosts one of the most active planet-search teams in the world.

Research areas include:

Planetary Systems

  • Atmospheres & Life
  • Comets & Asteroids
  • Extrasolar Planetary Systems
  • Kepler Team
  • McDonald Laser Ranging Station


  • HII Regions & Planetary Nebulae
  • Star Formation & Protoplanetary Disks
  • Spitzer Legacy Project: c2d
  • Spitzer Legacy Project: Gould's Belt