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Author (up) Aubé, M.; Kocifaj, M.
Title Using two light-pollution models to investigate artificial sky radiances at Canary Islands observatories: Light-pollution models and artificial sky radiances Type Journal Article
Year 2012 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal
Volume 422 Issue 1 Pages 819-830
Keywords Keywords: radiative transfer; atmospheric effects; light pollution; methods: observational; site testing
Abstract Astronomical observations are increasingly limited by light pollution, which is a product of the over-illumination of the night sky. To predict both the angular distribution of scattered light and the ground-reaching radiative fluxes, a set of models has been introduced in recent decades. Two distinct numerical tools, MSNsRAu and ILLUMINA, are compared in this paper, with the aim of identifying their strengths and weaknesses. The numerical experiment comprises the simulation of spectral radiances in the region of the Canary Islands. In particular, the light fields near the Roque de los Muchachos and Teide observatories are computed under various turbidity conditions. It is shown that ILLUMINA has enhanced accuracy at low elevation angles. However, ILLUMINA is time-consuming because of the two scattering orders incorporated into the calculation scheme. Under low-turbidity conditions and for zenith angles smaller than 70° the two models agree well, and thus can be successfully applied to typical cloudless situations at the majority of observatories. MSNsRAu is well optimized for large-scale simulations. In particular, the grid size is adapted dynamically depending on the distance between a light source and a hypothetical observer. This enables rapid numerical modelling for large territories. MSNsRAu is also well suited for the mass modelling of night-sky radiances after ground-based light sources are hypothetically changed. This enables an optimum design of public lighting systems and a time-efficient evaluation of the optical effects related to different lamp spectra or different lamp distributions. ILLUMINA provides two diagnostic geographical maps to help local authorities concerned about light-pollution control. The first map allows the identification of the relative contribution of each ground element to the observed sky radiance at a given viewing angle, while the second map gives the sensitivity, basically saying how each ground element contributes per lumen installed.
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ISSN 0035-8711 ISBN Medium
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Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 256
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Author (up) Aubé, M.; Simoneau, A.; Wainscoat, R.; Nelson, L.
Title Modeling the effects of phosphor converted LED lighting to the night sky of the Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii Type Journal Article
Year 2018 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal
Volume 478 Issue 2 Pages 1776-1783
Keywords Skyglow
Abstract The goal of this study is to evaluate the current level of light pollution in the night sky at the Haleakala Observatory on the island of Maui in Hawaii. This is accomplished with a numerical model that was tested in the first International Dark Sky Reserve located in Mont-Mégantic National Park in Canada. The model uses ground data on the artificial light sources present in the region of study, geographical data, and remotely sensed data for: 1) the nightly upward radiance; 2) the terrain elevation; and, 3) the ground spectral reflectance of the region. The results of the model give a measure of the current state of the sky spectral radiance at the Haleakala Observatory. Then, using the current state as a reference point, multiple light conversion plans are elaborated and evaluated using the model. We can thus estimate the expected impact of each conversion plan on the night sky radiance spectrum. A complete conversion to white (LEDs) with (CCT) of 4000K and 3000K are contrasted with a conversion using (PC) amber (LEDs). We include recommendations concerning the street lamps to be used in sensitive areas like the cities of Kahului and Kihei and suggest best lighting practices related to the color of lamps used at night.
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ISSN 0035-8711 ISBN Medium
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Notes Approved no
Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial 1907
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Author (up) Bamford, S.P.; Nichol, R.C.; Baldry, I.K.; Land, K.; Lintott, C.J.; Schawinski, K.; Slosar, A.; Szalay, A.S.; Thomas, D.; Torki, M.; Andreescu, D.; Edmondson, E.M.; Miller, C.J.; Murray, P.; Raddick, M.J.; Vandenberg, J.
Title Galaxy Zoo: the dependence of morphology and colour on environment Type Journal Article
Year 2009 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal
Volume 393 Issue 4 Pages 1324-1352
Keywords Remote Sensing
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Publisher Place of Publication Editor
Language Summary Language Original Title
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ISSN 0035-8711 ISBN Medium
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Notes Approved no
Call Number LoNNe @ kagoburian @ Serial 902
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Author (up) Bará, S.
Title Characterizing the zenithal night sky brightness in large territories: how many samples per square kilometre are needed? Type Journal Article
Year 2017 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal
Volume 473 Issue 3 Pages 4164-4173
Keywords Instrumentation; atmospheric effects; light pollution; numerical methods; photometry
Abstract A recurring question arises when trying to characterize, by means of measurements or theoretical calculations, the zenithal night sky brightness throughout a large territory: how many samples per square kilometre are needed? The optimum sampling distance should allow reconstructing, with sufficient accuracy, the continuous zenithal brightness map across the whole region, whilst at the same time avoiding unnecessary and redundant oversampling. This paper attempts to provide some tentative answers to this issue, using two complementary tools: the luminance structure function and the Nyquist–Shannon spatial sampling theorem. The analysis of several regions of the world, based on the data from the New world atlas of artificial night sky brightness, suggests that, as a rule of thumb, about one measurement per square kilometre could be sufficient for determining the zenithal night sky brightness of artificial origin at any point in a region to within ±0.1 magV arcsec–2 (in the root-mean-square sense) of its true value in the Johnson–Cousins V band. The exact reconstruction of the zenithal night sky brightness maps from samples taken at the Nyquist rate seems to be considerably more demanding.
Address 1Departamento de Física Aplicada, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain; salva.bara(at)usc.es
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Publisher Oxford Academic Place of Publication Editor
Language English Summary Language English Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
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ISSN 0035-8711 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 2164
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Author (up) Bará, S.; Aubé, M.; Barentine, J.; Zamorano, J.
Title Magnitude to luminance conversions and visual brightness of the night sky Type Journal Article
Year 2020 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal MNRAS
Volume 493 Issue 2 Pages 2429–2437
Keywords Skyglow; light pollution; atmospheric effects; techniques: photometric; methods: numerical; luminance
Abstract The visual brightness of the night sky is not a single-valued function of its brightness in other photometric bands, because the transformations between photometric systems depend on the spectral power distribution of the skyglow. We analyze the transformation between the night sky brightness in the Johnson-Cousins V band (mV, measured in magnitudes per square arcsecond, mpsas) and its visual luminance (L, in SI units cd m−2) for observers with photopic and scotopic adaptation, in terms of the spectral power distribution of the incident light. We calculate the zero-point luminances for a set of skyglow spectra recorded at different places in the world, including strongly light-polluted locations and sites with nearly pristine natural dark skies. The photopic skyglow luminance corresponding to mV = 0.00 mpsas is found to vary between 1.11–1.34 × 105 cd m−2 if mV is reported in the absolute (AB) magnitude scale, and between 1.18–1.43 × 105 cd m−2 if a Vega scale for mV is used instead. The photopic luminance for mV = 22.0 mpsas is correspondingly comprised between 176 and 213 μcd m−2 (AB), or 187 and 227 μcd m−2 (Vega). These constants tend to decrease for increasing correlated color temperatures (CCT). The photopic zero-point luminances are generally higher than the ones expected for blackbody radiation of comparable CCT. The scotopic-to-photopic luminance ratio (S/P) for our spectral dataset varies from 0.8 to 2.5. Under scotopic adaptation the dependence of the zero-point luminances with the CCT, and their values relative to blackbody radiation, are reversed with respect to photopic ones.
Address Departamento de Física Aplicada, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Galicia; salva.bara(at)usc.gal
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Publisher Oxford Academic Place of Publication Editor
Language English Summary Language English Original Title
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Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 2825
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Author (up) Biggs, J.D.; Fouché, T.; Bilki, F.; Zadnik, M.G.
Title Measuring and mapping the night sky brightness of Perth, Western Australia: Night sky brightness of Perth Type Journal Article
Year 2012 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal
Volume 421 Issue 2 Pages 1450-1464
Keywords scattering; atmospheric effects; light pollution; techniques: photometric
Abstract In order to study the light pollution produced in the city of Perth, Western Australia, we have used a hand-held sky brightness meter to measure the night sky brightness across the city. The data acquired facilitated the creation of a contour map of night sky brightness across the 2400 km2 area of the city – the first such map to be produced for a city. Importantly, this map was created using a methodology borrowed from the field of geophysics – the well proven and rigorous techniques of geostatistical analysis and modelling.

A major finding of this study is the effect of land use on night sky brightness. By overlaying the night sky brightness map on to a suitably processed Landsat satellite image of Perth we found that locations near commercial and/or light industrial areas have a brighter night sky, whereas locations used for agriculture or having high vegetation coverage have a fainter night sky than surrounding areas. Urban areas have intermediate amounts of vegetation and are intermediate in brightness compared with the above-mentioned land uses. Regions with a higher density of major highways also appear to contribute to increased night sky brightness.

When corrected for the effects of direct illumination from high buildings, we found that the night sky brightness in the central business district (CBD) is very close to that expected for a city of Perth’s population from modelling work and observations obtained in earlier studies. Given that our night sky brightness measurements in Perth over 2009 and 2010 are commensurate with that measured in Canadian cities over 30 years earlier implies that the various lighting systems employed in Perth (and probably most other cities) have not been optimised to minimize light pollution over that time.

We also found that night sky brightness diminished with distance with an exponent of approximately −0.25 ± 0.02 from 3.5 to 10 km from the Perth CBD, a region characterized by urban and commercial land use. For distances from 10 out to about 40 km from the CBD the radial variation of night sky brightness steepens to have an exponent value of approximately −1.8 ± 0.2. This steepening is associated with land use because vegetation cover increases with further distance from the CBD.
Address Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University, Bentley 6102, WA, Australia
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Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 257
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Author (up) Cavazzani, S.; Ortolani, S.; Bertolo, A.; Binotto, R.; Fiorentin, P.; Carraro, G.; Saviane, I.; Zitelli, V.
Title Sky Quality Meter and satellite correlation for night cloud-cover analysis at astronomical sites Type Journal Article
Year 2020 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal
Volume 493 Issue 2 Pages 2463-2471
Keywords Skyglow
Abstract The analysis of night cloud cover is very important for astronomical observations in real time, considering a typical observation time of about 15 minutes, and to provide statistics. In this article, we use the Sky Quality Meter (SQM) for high-resolution temporal analysis of the La Silla and Asiago (Ekar Observatory) sky: 3 and 5 minutes respectively. We investigate the annual temporal evolution of the natural contributions of the sky at a site not influenced by artificial light at night (ALAN) and at one highly influenced. We also make a correlation between GOES and Aqua satellite data and ground-based SQM data to confirm the relationship between the SQM data and cloud cover. We develop an algorithm that allows the use of the SQM for night cloud detection and reach correlations with the nighttime cloud cover detected by the GOES and Aqua satellites of 97.2 per cent at La Silla and 94.6 per cent at Asiago. Our algorithm also classifies photometric (PN) and spectroscopic nights (SN). We measure 59.1 per cent PN and 21.7 per cent SN for a total percentage of clear nights of 80.8 per cent at La Silla in 2018. The respective Ekar Observatory values are 31.1 per cent PN, 24.0 per cent SN and 55.1 per cent of total clear night time. Application to the SQM network would involve the development of long-term statistics and large data forecasting models for site testing and real-time astronomical observation.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
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ISSN 0035-8711 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial 2842
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Author (up) Cinzano, P.; Elvidge, C.D.
Title Night sky brightness at sites from DMSP-OLS satellite measurements Type Journal Article
Year 2004 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal MNRAS
Volume 353 Issue 4 Pages 1107-1116
Keywords scattering; atmospheric effects; light pollution; site testing; GTOPO30; DMSP
Abstract We apply the sky brightness modelling technique introduced and developed by Roy Garstang to high-resolution satellite measurements of upward artificial light flux carried out with the US Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System and to GTOPO30 (a global digital elevation model by the US Geological Survey's EROS Data Centre) digital elevation data in order to predict the brightness distribution of the night sky at a given site in the primary astronomical photometric bands for a range of atmospheric aerosol contents. This method, based on global data and accounting for elevation, Earth curvature and mountain screening, allows the evaluation of sky glow conditions over the entire sky for any site in the world, to evaluate its evolution, to disentangle the contribution of individual sources in the surrounding territory and to identify the main contributing sources. Sky brightness, naked eye stellar visibility and telescope limiting magnitude are produced as three-dimensional arrays, the axes of which are the position on the sky and the atmospheric clarity. We compare our results with available measurements.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
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ISSN 0035-8711 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 172
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Author (up) Cinzano, P.; Falchi, F.
Title The propagation of light pollution in the atmosphere Type Journal Article
Year 2012 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume 427 Issue 4 Pages 3337-3357
Keywords radiative transfer; scattering; atmospheric effects; light pollution; site testing; light at night; Garstang model; LPTRAN; DMSP-OLS; GTOPO30; modeling; propagation
Abstract Recent methods to map artificial night-sky brightness and stellar visibility across large territories or their distribution over the entire sky at any site are based on computation of the propagation of light pollution with Garstang models, a simplified solution of the radiative transfer problem in the atmosphere that allows fast computation by reducing it to a ray-tracing approach. They are accurate for a clear atmosphere, when a two-scattering approximation is acceptable, which is the most common situation. We present here up-to-date extended Garstang models (EGM), which provide a more general numerical solution for the radiative transfer problem applied to the propagation of light pollution in the atmosphere. We also present the LPTRAN software package, an application of EGM to high-resolution Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) satellite measurements of artificial light emission and to GTOPO30 (Global 30 Arcsecond) digital elevation data, which provides an up-to-date method to predict the artificial brightness distribution of the night sky at any site in the world at any visible wavelength for a broad range of atmospheric situations and the artificial radiation density in the atmosphere across the territory. EGM account for (i) multiple scattering, (ii) wavelengths from 250 nm to infrared, (iii) the Earth's curvature and its screening effects, (iv) site and source elevation, (v) many kinds of atmosphere with the possibility of custom set-up (e.g. including thermal inversion layers), (vi) a mix of different boundary-layer aerosols and tropospheric aerosols, with the possibility of custom set-up, (vii) up to five aerosol layers in the upper atmosphere, including fresh and aged volcanic dust and meteoric dust, (viii) variations of the scattering phase function with elevation, (ix) continuum and line gas absorption from many species, ozone included, (x) up to five cloud layers, (xi) wavelength-dependent bidirectional reflectance of the ground surface from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data, main models or custom data (snow included) and (xii) geographically variable upward light-emission function given as a three-parameter function or a Legendre polynomial series. Atmospheric scattering properties or light-pollution propagation functions from other sources can also be applied. A more general solution allows us to account also for (xiii) mountain screening, (xiv) geographical gradients of atmospheric conditions, including localized clouds and (xv) geographic distribution of ground surfaces, but suffers from too heavy computational requirements. Comparisons between predictions of classic Garstang models and EGM show close agreement for a US62 standard clear atmosphere and typical upward emission function.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
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Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 271
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Author (up) Cinzano, P.; Falchi, F.; Elvidge, C.D.
Title The first World Atlas of the artificial night sky brightness Type Journal Article
Year 2001 Publication Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Abbreviated Journal MNRAS
Volume 328 Issue 3 Pages 689-707
Keywords scattering; atmospheric effects; light pollution; site testing; DMSP
Abstract We present the first World Atlas of the zenith artificial night sky brightness at sea level. Based on radiance-calibrated high-resolution DMSP satellite data and on accurate modelling of light propagation in the atmosphere, it provides a nearly global picture of how mankind is proceeding to envelop itself in a luminous fog. Comparing the Atlas with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) population density data base, we determined the fraction of population who are living under a sky of given brightness. About two-thirds of the World population and 99 per cent of the population in the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and European Union live in areas where the night sky is above the threshold set for polluted status. Assuming average eye functionality, about one-fifth of the World population, more than two-thirds of the United States population and more than one half of the European Union population have already lost naked eye visibility of the Milky Way. Finally, about one-tenth of the World population, more than 40 per cent of the United States population and one sixth of the European Union population no longer view the heavens with the eye adapted to night vision, because of the sky brightness.
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Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
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ISSN 0035-8711 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 173
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