MINERVA-Australis. I. Design, commissioning, and first photometric results

Brett Addison, Duncan J. Wright, Robert A. Wittenmyer, Jonathan Horner, Matthew W. Mengel, Daniel Johns, Connor Marti, Belinda Nicholson, Jack Soutter, Brendan Bowler, Ian Crossfield, Stephen R. Kane, John Kielkopf, Peter Plavchan, C. G. Tinney, Hui Zhang, Jake T. Clark, Mathieu Clerte, Jason D. Eastman, Jon SwiftMichael Bottom, Philip Muirhead, Nate McCrady, Erich Herzig, Kristina Hogstrom, Maurice Wilson, David Sliski, Samson A. Johnson, Jason T. Wright, John Asher Johnson, Cullen Blake, Reed Riddle, Brian Lin, Matthew Cornachione, Timothy R. Bedding, Dennis Stello, Daniel Huber, Stephen Marsden, Bradley D. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115003
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number1005
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • (stars:) planetary systems
  • Instrumentation: photometers
  • Instrumentation: spectrographs
  • Planets and satellites: detection
  • Techniques: photometric
  • Techniques: radial velocities
  • Techniques: spectroscopic


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