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W. M. Keck Observatory
More direct study of the earth
and the sky by PLU students has been the result from a $500,000
grant from The W. M. Keck Foundation—to the university and through
the Division of Natural Sciences. Student research opportunities
are greatly enhanced through state-of-the-art tools and facilities.
PLU Physics Professor and W.
M. Keck Observatory project coordinator, Steve Starkovich.
The recently opened W. M. Keck Foundation
Observatory is one of the tools that have opened these new opportunities
to PLU students. The observatory features a16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain
reflecting telescope (one of the largest in the region), a 17-foot
retractable dome, a large-format digital camera for research activities,
and five 8-inch telescopes on permanent piers for educational
use. Astrometric position observations of known asteroids, as
well as the search for new ones, will be the principal research
at the observatory.
Established in 1954 by W. M. Keck,
the foundation makes grants designed to provide far-reaching benefits
for humanity in the fields of science, engineering and medical
research. The foundation also wishes to ensure that today’s youth
receive a high quality, well-rounded education. To that end, it
supports programs designed to promote innovative instruction and
research at leading liberal arts colleges across the nation.