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Minerva-Australis. I. Design, Commissioning, and First Photometric Results

Addison, Brett and Bottom, Michael and Herzig, Erich and Hogstrom, Kristina and Riddle, Reed and Lin, Brian (2019) Minerva-Australis. I. Design, Commissioning, and First Photometric Results. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 131 (1005). Art. No. 115003. ISSN 1538-3873.

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The Minerva-Australis telescope array is a facility dedicated to the follow-up, confirmation, characterization, and mass measurement of planets orbiting bright stars discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)—a category in which it is almost unique in the Southern Hemisphere. It is located at the University of Southern Queensland's Mount Kent Observatory near Toowoomba, Australia. Its flexible design enables multiple 0.7 m robotic telescopes to be used both in combination, and independently, for high-resolution spectroscopy and precision photometry of TESS transit planet candidates. Minerva-Australis also enables complementary studies of exoplanet spin–orbit alignments via Doppler observations of the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect, radial velocity searches for nontransiting planets, planet searches using transit timing variations, and ephemeris refinement for TESS planets. In this first paper, we describe the design, photometric instrumentation, software, and science goals of Minerva-Australis, and note key differences from its Northern Hemisphere counterpart, the Minerva array. We use recent transit observations of four planets, WASP-2b, WASP-44b, WASP-45b, and HD 189733b, to demonstrate the photometric capabilities of Minerva-Australis.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Addison, Brett0000-0003-3216-0626
Bottom, Michael0000-0003-1341-5531
Riddle, Reed0000-0002-0387-370X
Additional Information:© 2019 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2018 October 27; accepted 2019 January 30; published 2019 September 26. This research was supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (project DP180100972). Minerva-Australis hardware is funded in part by the Australian government through the Australian Research Council, LIEF grants LE160100001. We acknowledge support from the Mount Cuba Astronomical Foundation. H.Z. is also grateful to the support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC grants 11673011, 11333002). P.P. acknowledges support from the the National Science Foundation (Astronomy and Astrophysics grant 1716202) and George Mason University start-up funds. The MINERVA in the Northern hemisphere, which laid the groundwork for our installation, is made possible by generous contributions from its collaborating institutions and Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (EPSCOR grant NNX13AM97A), The Australian Research Council (LIEF grant LE140100050), and the National Science Foundation (grants 1516242 and 1608203). MINERVA hardware has been partially funded by the Australian Research Council's Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities funding scheme (project LE140100050). We are grateful to the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for their generous funding of MINERVA hardware and personnel.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilDP180100972
Australian Research CouncilLE160100001
Mt. Cuba Astronomical FoundationUNSPECIFIED
National Natural Science Foundation of China11673011
National Natural Science Foundation of China11333002
George Mason UniversityUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilLE140100050
Australian Research CouncilLE140100050
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: spectrographs – instrumentation: photometers – techniques: photometric – techniques: radial velocities – techniques: spectroscopic – planets and satellites: detection – (stars:) planetary systems
Issue or Number:1005
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190927-103225533
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Brett Addison et al 2019 PASP 131 115003
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98903
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:27 Sep 2019 17:43
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:45

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