The Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia 2018 results are now available, and USQ’s astronomical and space sciences research has achieved the highest available rating of “well above world standard” (ERA2018 = 5):
USQ astrophysics staff are investigators on new Australian Research Council grants for 2019 as follows:
A dedicated telescope to study the interiors of stars from their oscillations. LE190100036, $159,000 Led by USQ’s Professor Robert Wittenmyer
A robotic telescope leveraging global science from Veloce. LE190100050, $500,000.
Led by Macquarie University’s Chris Schwab and including USQ’s Brad Carter and Rob Wittenmyer
For more details see:
As noted in the following article, NASA’s TESS telescope has discovered two new Earth-like planets – a “super-Earth” and a “hot Earth” less than 60 light years away:
USQ astronomers are on the relevant discovery papers:
2018’s USQ Festival of Astronomy attracted many hundreds of people to talks at Toowoomba, Brisbane and Gold Coast venues, and dozens of junior astronomers to a “build a planet” workshop in Toowoomba.
The Festival was a notable success thanks to the efforts of USQ’s Dr Carolyn Brown, Karlee Kuzma, Jake Clark, Matthew Mengel, Duncan Wright, Jonti Horner and others, as well as our eminent speakers Dr Jessie Christiansen (NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, USA), Dr Duane Hamacher (Monash Uni. and USQ), and A/Prof Annette Lee (St. Cloud State University, USA).
As for 2019 details are yet to be advised but we do note that July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon…
Over the last few months a group of US College students (Daniel Johns, Connor Marti, Madison Huff, Jacob McCann) visiting USQ for the northern summer have worked with a US team led by A/Prof Rob Wittenmyer to produce the following paper now available on arxiv.org:
Revised Exoplanet Radii and Habitability Using Gaia Data Release 2 Daniel Johns, Connor Marti, Madison Huff, Jacob MCann, Robert A. Wittenmyer, Jonathan Horner, Duncan J. Wright https://arxiv.org/abs/1808.04533
The new USQ Centre for Astrophysics welcome Dr Brett Addison as a Research Fellow (Astrophysics) working on Mt Kent Observatory’s MINERVA-Australis exoplanet search and characterization project led by USQ’s A/Prof Rob Wittenmyer. Brett comes to us from Mississippi State University where worked as a postdoctoral research astronomer. You can check out Brett’s website at http://www.astrobrett.com/
Mt Kent Observatory’s MINERVA-Australis exoplanet search and characterization facility has achieved first light with its CCD imager and photometer and spectrograph, with early tests indicating it meets or exceeds the required specifications. The MINERVA-Australis project is led by A/Prof Rob Wittenmyer with key team members including Dr Duncan Wright, Dr Matthew Mengel and Dr Brett Addison. Further updates will be provided in coming months.
As of 2018 August 5 the USQ Astrophysics Group has become the University of Southern Queensland Centre for Astrophysics, with the Centre part of a new Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences. More details will be advised in coming months.
For more information see http://www.usq.edu.au/jobs or