The Optical and X-ray Astronomy group has a 1 metre telescope and extensive support facilities at the Canopus Hill Observatory approximately 12 km from Hobart. From time to time use is made of national facilities including the Anglo Australian Telscope and the 2.3 metre MSSSO telescope at Siding Spring Mountain. X-ray data is obtained using international X-ray satellite observatories on a guest observer basis.
Current research in the group includes the study of gravitational microlensing events as part of the worldwide PLANET collaboration and the study of X-ray pulsars and black hole accretors.
In conjunction with the AST we are holding an open night at Mt Canopus on Saturday 21th April 2007.
The gates will be open from 7:30 pm till 10:00 pm. There will be tours of the main telescope (no viewing), talks by staff,
viewing through telescopes. The Moon, Saturn, Milky Way and the Magellanic clouds will be visible.
Info Sheet (PDF) Map only
The PLANET collaboration announced on Jan 26th in the Journal Nature the discovery of
a low mass planet orbiting a cool distant star. With a mass of only 5 times
the mass of Earth and a surface temperature similar to that of Neptune
this discovery represents the lowest mass planet ever found,
and the class of cool rocky/ice worlds.
This discovery lends support to current theories of how our solar system formed.
[ Physics Department home page ]John.Greenhill@utas.edu.au