A small telescope to explore a big universe

When we study the stars and planets to learn more about the universe we also learn more about ourselves - and the fragile and tiny blue planet we live on, which is shared by all of humanity.

A global community of collaboration among astronomers

Our observatory, located at our beautiful Soka University of America campus in Aliso Viejo, CA was made possible by the generosity of Luis & Linda Nieves Family Foundation. We have named the our observatory the Nieves Observatory at Soka University of America to honor his generous gift. The telescope has been used with our Soka University of America students for the past year in both classes and research, and also has been used by students around the world with its remote operation capability.

The observatory is set up with the mission to expand SUA’s mission for global citizenship into an interplanetary dimension.  We hope to also work with communities of students and researchers across the world, and to enable students in the US, Japan, India, Taiwan, Singapore and other countries to work together to increase our understanding of the physical universe.

Telescope Specs

Detailed specifications of our observatory and telescope

Image Gallery

Our best images taken and processed by our in-house astro-photographers

Research with us

Use our world-class, remotely operable and scriptable telescope.

Astronomy Resources

Latest tutorials on image processing and computational guides for astronomy research

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward... in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam… The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena."

Carl SaganAuthor of the "Pale Blue Dot: A vision of the Human Future in Space"
Look Inside

360° View of the Interior

What we have been up to


Astronomy Night: Exploration of the Moon and Mars

Soka University astronomy professor Dr. Bryan Penprase shares live images from Soka's Nieves Observatory telescope and answers questions about the recent landing on Mars of…

A New Diamond in the Sky: Nova Carinae 2018

The classical nova ASASSN-18fv (Nova Carinae 2018) was discovered by the All Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae on 2018 March 21, based on images taken…

With the Nieves Observatory, Soka Sets Its Eyes on the Sky

Sweta Shrestha ’21 and Professor Bryan Penprase adjust the Nieves Observatory telescope. Soka’s global vision is going intergalactic. The Luis and Linda Nieves Observatory gives…