UniSQ’s Mount Kent Observatory, located at a dark-sky site outside of Toowoomba in southern Queensland, is a key facility for both national and international space science research.
Mount Kent Observatory is Queensland’s only professional research observatory for astronomy teaching and research training
The world-class facility includes an array of state-of-the-art telescopes and technology, bringing UniSQ researchers and students to the forefront of ongoing planet discovery work.
Mount Kent Observatory is the only facility in the Southern Hemisphere playing a leading role in support of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which is using transit photometry to detect Earth-like planets near our Solar system using MINERVA-Australis - an array of 0.7m aperture telescopes and a specialised spectrograph.
UniSQ has an ongoing collaboration with the Stellar Observation Network Group (SONG), with the Mount Kent Observatory hosting another specialised spectrograph and a second array of 0.7m aperture telescopes to cover the skies in the Southern Hemisphere.
UniSQ's Shared Skies Partnership collaboration 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.
In addition, Mount Kent Observatory hosts Queensland first camera as part of the Australian-led Global Fireball Network.
Mount Kent Observatory also has an asteroid named after it. Discovered in 1993, asteroid ‘11927 Mount Kent’ appears in constellations near the ecliptic.
Please note that as a university research facility Mount Kent Observatory is not open to the public but is included in a number of UniSQ outreach activities.
For more information, contact the Centre for Astrophysics.