Texas Border Business
By Amanda A. Taylor
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – UTRGV has been acknowledged in an official proclamation by the City Commission of Brownsville for its efforts to study the stars and for its multiple contributions to the fields of space, science and astronomy.
The city officially designated Oct. 4 – 10 as Space Week, with Oct. 9 set as Astronomy Day by the Astronomical League.
World Space Week (WSW) is an annual holiday observed from Oct. 4 – 10 in more than 95 nations throughout the world. World Space Week is officially defined as “an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.”
The UTRGV Dr. Cristina V. Torres Memorial Astronomical Observatory, located at the Resaca de la Palma State Park in Brownsville, is included in the proclamation as an example of how Brownsville is continuing to study the stars.
The observatory fosters astronomical research projects such as tracking asteroids, observing the stars, exoplanet transients, deep sky object detection and supernova searches within galaxies.
UTRGV’s Center of Gravitational Wave Astronomy was also recognized in the proclamation as a center that furthers scientific research and education in gravitational-wave astronomy. CGWA expands research on multi-messenger astronomy through international collaborations such as the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA Collaboration and the Transient Optic Robotic Observatory of the South (TOROS) Collaboration.
Dr. Mario C. Díaz, director of the UTRGV Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and professor of physics and astronomy, said the recognition from Brownsville is rewarding for the university.
“I came to Brownsville 25 years ago to become a faculty member at the University of Texas,” he said. “To see how our community, through its City Commission, has so proudly embraced the educational and scientific work of our physics and astronomy faculty and students after all these years is truly rewarding.”
Other astronomical advances recognized within Brownsville include SpaceX and the South Texas Astronomical Society (STARS), which cultivates interest in astronomy and space through public education events.