USQ’s Mount Kent Observatory, located at a dark-sky site outside of Toowoomba in southern Queensland, is the only professional astronomical research facility in the state.
Mount Kent Observatory is Queensland’s only professional research observatory for astronomy teaching and research training
The $6 million world-class facility includes an array of state-of-the-art telescopes and technology, bringing USQ researchers and students at the forefront of ongoing planet discovery work. USQ plays a leading role in support of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), and the University’s astrophysicists have contributed to the discovery of more than 100 exoplanets to date.
'Mount Kent Observatory is a unique research facility for the future of astronomy and space in Australia. This expansion means USQ is now in the perfect position to take a leading role working with global partners, like NASA, to help bring to light new worlds and advance our understanding of the Solar System,' USQ Vice Chancellor, Professor Mackenzie said.
USQ has an ongoing collaboration with the Stellar Observation Network Group (SONG), with the Mount Kent Observatory hosting three SONG telescopes to cover the skies in the Southern Hemisphere. Mount Kent Observatory hosting three SONG telescopes to cover the skies in the Southern Hemisphere.
USQ's Shared Skies Partnership collaboration with with the University of Louisville provides live remote-access observing using 0.5m and 0.7m aperture telescopes, and a wide-field camera. The Partnership is used for research, research training, education and outreach, and enables access to northern skies via Moore Observatory in Kentucky.