Uppsala Southern Schmidt Telescope

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Uppsala Schmidt Telescope
Organization Australian National University
Location Siding Spring Observatory, Australia
Altitude 1,150 m
Built 1956
Telescope style Schmidt telescope
Diameter 0.5 m
Website www.mso.anu.edu.au/~rmn/

The Uppsala Schmidt Telescope was moved to Siding Spring Observatory from Mount Stromlo Observatory in 1982. The instrument has been used to study our galaxy, asteroids and comets. It is currently dedicated to the Siding Spring Survey. The telescope has a field of view of just over 6° through the use of a correcting plate, making it three times as large as the Anglo-Australian Telescope. It uses a spherical rather than a parabolic mirror[1] with 0.6 m correcting plate to achieve this. Photographic plates and film are used as detectors.

History[edit]

The Uppsala Schmidt Telescope was built in 1956 in Sweden.[1] The telescope was originally located at the Mount Stromlo Observatory. It was operational there between 1957 and 1982.[2] It took the first images ever recorded of the Sputnik satellite in 1957.[1]

The telescope was modernized in 2000 and 2001[2] to include the experimental use of CCD's which are 40 times more sensitive than standard photography.[citation needed]

The Uppsala Telescope was de-commissioned by the ANU late 2013 and the Southern Near Earth Object Survey closed down.

Discoveries[edit]

The telescope has been used by Robert H. McNaught to discover 400 potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids which have a diameter greater than 100 m.[3] McNaught used the telescope to discover comet C/2006 P1, also known as the Great Daylight Comet of 2007, on the night of 7 August 2006. That comet was the brightest seen in over 40 years.

The Uppsala Schmidt telescope is the instrument used by the Siding Spring Survey to conduct the only professional search for dangerous asteroids being made in the Southern Hemisphere.[4]

Other notable discoveries made by the telescope include finding 7604 Kridsadaporn, C/2007 Q3, C/2009 R1, 2012 LZ1, (242450) 2004 QY2 and (308242) 2005 GO21.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Uppsala 0.5m Schmidt Near Earth Object Survey Telescope". Australian National University. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Mobberley, Martin (2011). Hunting and imaging comets. Springer. pp. 94–95. ISBN 1441969055. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Perry Vlahos (20 December 2012). "Who's on night watch?". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Nicky Phillips, Tim Lester (11 July 2012). "Funding black hole means our asteroid sentinel may abandon crucial work". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 16 April 2013. 

External links[edit]