Uppsala Schmidt Telescope and SSS Logo



Originally a manually operated photographic telescope, the Uppsala Southern Schmidt (USS, 0.5 metre corrector plate aperture) has been refurbished and modernised. 

Uppsala Telescope before refurbishment

Uppsala Telescope before refurbishment

It now has a Newtonian focus mounted 4K x 4K CCD and computer controlled telescope and dome pointing. In early July 2003 we achieved first light. This image of omega Centauri shows the central portion of the field.

Omega Thumbnail

First light with the upgraded Uppsala Schmidt: omega Centauri

The image scale is 1".8/pixel giving a field size of 123 x 123 arcmins

Click image at left to see full size 200kb image

A Cryotiger unit is used to cool the CCD to ~-90C and dry air keeps the dewar window/field flattener free from condensation. A newly constructed control room adjacent to the Uppsala dome houses the control and data reduction computers. This data reduction pipeline has been developed at CSS over the past several years. It controls the sequencing of images, flat-fielding, extraction of moving objects and identification of unusual objects. The observer is responsible for setting up the sequences and confirming that the objects detected are in fact real. This is important given that detections are made to around 1.2 sigma above noise.


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Built in 1956 at the Uppsala Observatory workshop in Sweden, the telescope was first located at Mount Stromlo Observatory near Canberra in 1957. The initial history of the telescope is described in the history webpages of the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, UAO. 

The Uppsala Southern Station was relocated to Siding Spring Observatory in 1982. It was used for various photographic studies of the Southern Milky Way, asteroid and comet discovery and imaging, and for various student projects.

In the late 1980's and especially during the period 1990-94, the USS was used extensively in NEO, comet, nova and supernova confirmation and follow-up astrometry. It formed a critical part of Duncan Steel's AANEAS project in confirming discoveries by the 1.2-m U.K. Schmidt Telescope located about 1 km away.

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