Welcome to the website for the Nieves Observatory at Soka University of America!   Our observatory, located at our beautiful Soka University of America campus in Aliso Viejo, CA was made possible by the generosity of the Luis and Linda Nieves Family Foundation, who made a gift to Soka University of America. We have named it the Nieves Observatory at Soka University of America to honor this generous gift. The telescope is now operational, and the dedication ceremony for the observatory is scheduled for October 12, 2019, with evening stargazing community events for Soka University students, staff, faculty and friends to follow soon. 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 CCD camera and research-grade filters in the SDSS griz photometric passbands, along with nebular filters for imaging galaxies and star-forming regions in the wavelengths of H-alpha, OIII, and SII. The telescope has a field of view of 47×47  arcminutes, and a scale for imaging at 1×1 binning of 0.7”/px.  In non-technical terms, it is an advanced, research-grade telescope, able to take incredibly sharp images of galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, and we look forward to using it with our SUA students for their coursework and research projects. The advanced control systems allows for the telescope to be used remotely and we look forward to sharing the telescope with students all over the world. 

The telescope and operating system offer the latest technologies for both synchronous observing and robotic or scripted observing for research projects. 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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