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Background

The Schmidt Telescope was built (by the SERC) at the same time as the AAT, in emulation of the very successful combination of the 5m Hale Telescope and 1.2m Oschin Schmidt on Palomar Mountain. From 1973 to 1988, the Schmidt Telescope was operated by the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (ROE). In 1988, under an agreement between the SERC and the AATB, the telescope became part of the AAO. All original plate material continues to be housed in the Plate Library at ROE (see § 1.12), and the ROE photolabs make Sky Atlases and provide services for copying original plate material.

Unlike the AAT, the Schmidt Telescope is operated by a team of resident astronomers and is not a `common user' facility, at least in photographic mode. More detailed information about the telescope and its facilities is given in the Schmidt Telescope Handbook (AAO UM 21).



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