MINERVA-Australis at the University of Southern Queensland's Mount Kent
Observatory is the only southern hemisphere precise radial velocity
facility completely dedicated to follow-up of planets from NASA's
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). We are a collaboration
including Nanjing University and seven insititutions in Australia and
the US. The array is now fully operational, with five 0.7m telescopes
in place, delivering mass measurements for TESS planets. I give an
overview and update of operations, and I present our precise radial
velocity results and orbital solutions for several TESS planets. I also
discuss our longer-term plans for extended mission science, taking
advantage of the unique capabilities of this dedicated observatory.
Professor Rob Wittenmyer earned his PhD in 2008 from the University of Texas at Austin, then moved to Australia for a postdoc at UNSW Sydney.
He was then a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at UNSW before moving to the University of Southern Queensland in 2017.
He is now a full Professor at USQ and is the chief of the MINERVA-Australis telescope array, which is a dedicated observatory for discovering new extrasolar planets.
He has so far contributed to the discovery and characterisation of nearly 60 planets.