MINERVA-Australis is the only facility in the Southern Hemisphere dedicated to providing ground-based observations to support NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission
After years in the making, five new telescopes and a $1 million spectrograph (an apparatus for studying stellar fingerprints) will be unveiled at an official launch on Tuesday (July 23).
The facility has already played a pivotal role in NASA’s TESS mission, assisting in the discovery of ten new planets orbiting distant stars
USQ Astrophysicist Professor Jonti Horner said now that it is fully functioning, many more discoveries lie just around the corner.
“MINERVA-Australis, as a fully dedicated observatory, is the key to the great unveiling that will happen in the next decade, when we will begin to truly understand our nearest celestial neighbours,” Professor Horner said.
The new facility is funded by the Australian Research Council, USQ, and our international partners (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; George Mason University; University of Louisville; University of Florida; University of Texas; University of California, Riverside and Nanjing University).
What: Official launch of USQ’s new space facility
When: Tuesday, July 23 from 9.30am
Where: Mt Kent Observatory, Bernards Road, Greenmount
USQ unveils new space facility