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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

W. M. Keck Observatory

PLU Physics Professor and W.  M. Keck Observatory project coordinator, Steve Starkovich
PLU Physics Professor and W. M. Keck Observatory project coordinator, Steve Starkovich.

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.

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.

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