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Hampf, D., Rowell, G., Wild, N., Sudholz, T., Horns, D., & Tluczykont, M. (2011). Measurement of night sky brightness in southern Australia. Advances in Space Research, 48(6), 1017–1025.
Abstract: Night sky brightness is a major source of noise both for Cherenkov telescopes as well as for wide-angle Cherenkov detectors. Therefore, it is important to know the level of night sky brightness at potential sites for future experiments.
The measurements of night sky brightness presented here were carried out at Fowlerâs Gap, a research station in New South Wales, Australia, which is a potential site for the proposed TenTen Cherenkov telescope system and the planned wide-angle Cherenkov detector system HiSCORE.
A portable instrument was developed and measurements of the night sky brightness were taken in February and August 2010. Brightness levels were measured for a range of different sky regions and in various spectral bands.
The night sky brightness in the relevant wavelength regime for photomultipliers was found to be at the same level as measured in similar campaigns at the established Cherenkov telescope sites of Khomas, Namibia, and at La Palma. The brightness of dark regions in the sky is about 2 Ã 1012 photons/(s sr m2) between 300 nm and 650 nm, and up to four times brighter in bright regions of the sky towards the galactic plane. The brightness in V band is 21.6 magnitudes per arcsec2 in the dark regions. All brightness levels are averaged over the field of view of the instrument of about 1.3 Ã 10−3 sr.
The spectrum of the night sky brightness was found to be dominated by longer wavelengths, which allows to apply filters to separate the night sky brightness from the blue Cherenkov light. The possible gain in the signal to noise ratio was found to be up to 1.2, assuming an ideal low-pass filter.