Built in 1955, this dome housed a 20/26-inch Schmidt telescope under the operation of Sweden's University of Uppsala. Equipped with a very fast wide-angle survey camera, the Uppsala developed more than two thousand photographic plates of the Southern Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds. In October 1957 this telescope captured the first astronomical image of Russia’s Sputnik1 – the world’s first artificial satellite.
With Canberra’s light pollution affecting the quality of images, the Schmidt telescope was relocated to Siding Spring Observatory in 1981 where it has been searching for comets and asteroids.
At the time of the 2003 firestorm, the original red-brick Uppsala dome was being used as the headquarters of the Canberra Astronomical Society. The damage was so extensive that the ruins were subsequently demolished.