Speaker: Professor Rob Wittenmyer
Affiliation: University of Southern Queensland 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.

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The Physics Colloquium series hosts a range of speakers from Australia and abroad. The series explores a variety of topics and everyone is welcome to come along. The seminars are open so there is no need to register your attendance.

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