Mata'aga le Uliuli
The Mata'aga le Uliuli (Nix Observatory), founded in 2012, is an outpost of the University of Mercury, situated in the village of Uliuli, the most southerly village on the Mercurian dependency of Lucerne.
Southern Sky Observation
From the observatory, student at the University of Mercury are able to study the southern skies. Research staff from the Physics and Astronomy Department spend a quarter of the year on the island, mapping the stars and other celestial objects visible from Uliuli, giving Mercury’s budding Science department the ability to observe all of the night sky for most of the year.
The Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights, are a common sight in Lucerne, popular with photographers, and a subject of study by the University of Mercury. Although the phenomenon is visible to the naked eye, telescopes at the observatory are able to give high quality images of the aurorae.
A special telescope able to view Atos, the nearest star to Micras, at radio frequencies is used to study sunspots and coronal activity, and adds to the abilities of the standard visible light telescope, together giving an indication of the star's activity. At times of peak activity, large numbers of student from the University of Mercury camp out in Uliuli to observe this.
A small number of astronomers remain in Uliuli throughout the year, as well the technicians tending to the telescopes. Mainly, students from the University of Mercury come and go, with larger numbers coming during times of celestial events. With few facilities in the town itself, and a small population of just over 900, many of the staff and visiting students stay in the island’s capital, the city of Lusa'aii, or camp in nearby fields.