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USQ's Mount Kent Observatory: Australia's newest exoplanet machine
Add to Calendar 2023-04-05T19:45:00 2023-04-05T21:00:00 UTC USQ's Mount Kent Observatory: Australia's newest exoplanet machine

538 Davey Lab

Davey Lab
Start DateWed, Apr 05, 2023
3:45 PM
End DateWed, Apr 05, 2023
5:00 PM
Presented By
Rob Wittenmyer (University of Southern Queensland)
Event Series: Astronomy Colloquium

Title: USQ's Mount Kent Observatory: Australia's newest exoplanet machine

Abstract: In the past five years, University of Southern Queensland's Mount Kent Observatory has undergone a dramatic expansion to become Australia's leading exoplanet observatory.  The Minerva-Australis telescope array is partnership between MIT, UNSW Sydney, George Mason University, University of Louisville, Nanjing University, UC-Riverside, University of Texas, and the University of Florida.  It is the only southern hemisphere observatory wholly dedicated to the detailed follow-up of planet candidates from NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), and has contributed to the confirmation of 30 planets to date -- about 15% of all TESS confirmed planets.  I present mass measurements and system parameters for several new planets using MINERVA-Australis radial velocities, and give preliminary results from our new multi-telescope photometric capability to validate small TESS planet candidates.  I also describe our longer-term plans for extended mission science and new large telescopes, taking advantage of the unique capabilities of this dedicated observatory.

Astro Colloquium and 'coffee & cookies' department gathering (3:45-4:00pm)

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