Mt Kent Observatory

Mt Kent Observatory is Queensland’s only professional research observatory for astronomy teaching and research training. It is located at a dark-sky site near Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia, at 682m altitude. Mt Kent Observatory also has an asteroid named after it. Discovered in 1993, asteroid ‘11927 Mount Kent’ appears among the constellations of the ecliptic.

Telescopes

The site houses three telescopes, namely the 0.3m aperture O’Mara robotic telescope, and two PlaneWave Instrument telescopes (a CDK20 and a CDK700). The Observatory is being upgraded to accommodate the MINERVA-Australis telescope array, to provide ground-based observations supporting NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. USQ researchers will play a critical role in learning more about the planets that will be found by the mission, with TESS set to discover tens of thousands of new exoplanets around nearby bright stars over the coming decade.

Shared Skies Partnership

Mt Kent Observatory plays a key role in the Shared Skies Partnership between USQ and the University of Louisville. (USA) to allow USQ students in Australia and Louisville students in the USA to remotely access telescopes across the globe for live astronomical viewing.  The time-zone and latitude difference between Australia and the USA enables students to observe otherwise inaccessible night-time skies during day-time classes.

Learn about astronomy

Schools and community groups are invited to experience the wonders of the night sky and learn about astronomy.

Astrophysics research

Learn more about USQ’s research in astrophysics.