Michael A. Stecker


University of Michigan Curtis Schmidt Camera housing at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO)
located at Cerro Tololo in the Coquimbo Region of northern Chile
observatory photo edited from:



About the UM Curtis Schmidt Telescope
The University of Michigan/Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory 61 cm Curtis Schmidt telescope is a twin to the Case Western Reserve University instrument on Kitt Peak. S chmidt-type telescopes/cameras are used to take wide angle pictures of large regions of the sky.  On Oct 26, 1966  AURA concluded an agreement with the University of Michigan to install the Curtis Schmidt telescope on Tololo on a 10-year loan basis; the agreement was extended for 25 years in 1975.

The 0.61 m (24 in) Curtis-Schmidt Telescope is a Schmidt camera that was previously located at the University of Michigan's former Portage Lake Observatory. It is currently used for the Michigan Orbital DEbris Survey Telescope (MODEST) project, which is part of NASA's program to detect and catalog orbital debris. Two-thirds of observing time was at the discretion of NOAO prior to 2001.


The Telescope

61 cm (24-inch) Curtis Schmidt camera at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory
photo from: https://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/images/d2/02358.jpg
Schmidt-type telescopes are used to take wide angle pictures of large regions of the sky. This picture was taken by John Lutnes in the late 1960s, shortly after the telescope was moved to CTIO, and features observer John Graham.