Welcome to our Soka University Observatory Page!  Our observatory, located at our beautiful Soka University of America campus in Aliso Viejo, CA was made possible by the generosity of Luis Nieves. We plan to name it the Luis Nieves Observatory at Soka University to honor his generous gift. The telescope will be operational this summer, and is currently in the installation and testing phase. Some photos of the telescope are below.

The telescope includes a PlaneWave 0.3-meter telescope on a PlaneWave mount, and is equipped with research-grade FLI camera and griz and H-alpha, OIII, SII filters, which will have a field of view of 37.2 x 27.2  arcminutes. Our Plate scale at 1×1 binning is 1.09”/px.

The camera is a FLI CCD42-10-1-970 back illuminated sensor with a midband AR coating. Some of the specs for the camera are below: 

• Pixels: 2048 x 512

• Pixel Size: 13.5 microns

• Full Well Capacity: 100,000 e-

• Sensor Diagonal: 28.5• Video Size (inch): 1.8

• Typical System Noise: 10 e- at 500 kHz; 15 e- at 2 MHz

• Typical Maximum Cooling: 55C Below Ambient

• Digitization Speed: 500 kHz and 2MHz

• Typical Dark Current: <0.2 e-/pixel/sec @ -35???C• Non linearity: <1% 

The QE of our CCD peaks at around 95% – which should provide amazing efficiency. We welcome collaborative projects from astronomers from around the world – and our telescope will be operable remotely and can be scripted using the ACP operating system. We are eager to work on research projects with international collaborators and provide opportunities for our SUA students to get to know and work with other undergraduates from around the world. For more information, please email Prof. Bryan Penprase at bpenprase@soka.edu. 

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