538 Davey Lab
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)
Please click the link to join virtually: https://psu.zoom.us/j/92637070419