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Author Noll, S.; Kausch, W.; Barden, M.; Jones, A.M.; Szyszka, C.; Kimeswenger, S.; Vinther, J.
Title An atmospheric radiation model for Cerro Paranal: I. The optical spectral range* Type Journal Article
Year 2012 Publication Astronomy & Astrophysics Abbreviated Journal A&A
Volume 543 Issue Pages (down) A92
Keywords atmospheric effects; site testing; radiative transfer; radiation mechanisms: general; scattering; techniques; spectroscopic; modeling; observatories; Cerro Paranal
Abstract Aims. The Earth’s atmosphere affects ground-based astronomical observations. Scattering, absorption, and radiation processes deteriorate the signal-to-noise ratio of the data received. For scheduling astronomical observations it is, therefore, important to accurately estimate the wavelength-dependent effect of the Earth’s atmosphere on the observed flux.

Methods. In order to increase the accuracy of the exposure time calculator of the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal, an atmospheric model was developed as part of the Austrian ESO In-Kind contribution. It includes all relevant components, such as scattered moonlight, scattered starlight, zodiacal light, atmospheric thermal radiation and absorption, and non-thermal airglow emission. This paper focuses on atmospheric scattering processes that mostly affect the blue (<0.55&#8201;&#956;m) wavelength regime, and airglow emission lines and continuum that dominate the red (>0.55&#8201;&#956;m) wavelength regime. While the former is mainly investigated by means of radiative transfer models, the intensity and variability of the latter is studied with a sample of 1186 VLT FORS&#8201;1 spectra.

Results. For a set of parameters such as the object altitude angle, Moon-object angular distance, ecliptic latitude, bimonthly period, and solar radio flux, our model predicts atmospheric radiation and transmission at a requested resolution. A comparison of our model with the FORS&#8201;1 spectra and photometric data for the night-sky brightness from the literature, suggest a model accuracy of about 20%. This is a significant improvement with respect to existing predictive atmospheric models for astronomical exposure time calculators.
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Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 0004-6361 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 274
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Author Aubé, M.; Fortin, N.; Turcotte, S.; García, B.; Mancilla, A.; Maya, J.
Title Evaluation of the Sky Brightness at Two Argentinian Astronomical Sites Type Journal Article
Year 2014 Publication Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Abbreviated Journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume Issue Pages (down) 000-000
Keywords Skyglow; light pollution; astronomical observatories; sky brightness; site selection; LEO ++; El Leoncito; Kitt Peak; Mont-Mégantic; Argentina
Abstract Light pollution is a growing concern at many levels, especially for the astronomical community. Indeed, not only does artificial lighting veil celestial objects, it disturbs the measurement of many atmospheric phenomena. The sky brightness is one of the most relevant parameters for astronomical site selection. Our goal is to evaluate the sky brightness of two Argentinian observation sites: LEO ++ and El Leoncito. Both sites were preselected to host the Cherenkov Telescope Array. This project consists of an arrangement of many telescopes that can measure high-energy gamma ray emissions via their Cherenkov radiation produced when entering the earth’s atmosphere. In this paper, we describe the measurement methods used to determine whether those sites are valuable or not. We compared our results with the sky radiance of different renowned astronomical sites (Kitt Peak, Arizona, and Mont-Mégantic, Québec, Canada). Among our results, we found that LEO ++ is a good site, however the presence of a low layer of local aerosol can introduce uncertainties in the measurements. Consequently, El Leoncito would be a better option for such an installation. This latter site shows very low sky brightness levels, which are optimal for low light detection.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 0004-6280 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 1071
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Author Vázquez-Mata, J.A.; Hernández-Toledo, H.M.; Martínez-Vázquez, L.A.; Pani-Cielo, A.
Title Light pollution around Tonantzintla Observatory Type Journal Article
Year 2009 Publication Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union Abbreviated Journal Proc. IAU
Volume 5 Issue S260 Pages (down)
Keywords light pollution; observatories; sky brightness; Tonantzintla; Mexico; skyglow
Abstract Being close to the cities of Puebla to east and Cholula to the north, both having potential for large growth, the National Astronomical Observatory in Tonantzintla (OAN-Tonantzintla) faces the danger of deteriorating its sky conditions even more. In order to maintain competitiveness for education and scientific programs, it is important to preserve the sky brightness conditions. through: 1) our awareness of the night sky characteristics in continuous monitoring campaigns, doing more measurements over the next years to monitor changes and 2) encouraging local authorities about the need to regulate public lighting at the same time, showing them the benefits of such initiatives when well planed and correctly implemented.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 1743-9213 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 263
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Author Benn, C.R.; Ellison, S.L.
Title La Palma night-sky brightness Type Report
Year 1998 Publication La Palma Technical Reports Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue 115 Pages (down)
Keywords Skyglow; solar cycle; airglow; zodiacal light; light pollution; observatories; *Light
Abstract The brightness of the moonless night sky above La Palma was measured on 427 CCD images taken with the Isaac Newton and Jacobus Kapteyn Telescopes on 63 nights during 1987 – 1996. The median sky brightness at high elevation, high galactic latitude and high ecliptic latitude, at sunspot minimum, is B = 22.7, V = 21.9, R = 21.0, similar to that at other dark sites. The main contributions to sky brightness are airglow and zodiacal light. The sky is brighter at low ecliptic latitude (by 0.4 mag); at solar maximum (by 0.4 mag); and at high airmass (0.25 mag brighter at airmass 1.5). Light pollution (line + continuum) contributes < 0.03 mag in U, approximately 0.02 mag in B, approximately 0.10 mag in V, approximately and 0.10 mag in R at the zenith.
Address Isaac Newton Group, Apartado 321, 38780 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain
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Language English Summary Language English Original Title
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Notes Lots of useful theory on the various contributions to natural sky background level and expected surface brightnesses Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 1101
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