Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1304.7716 (Johannes Puschnig et al.)

Night sky photometry and spectroscopy performed at the Vienna University Observatory    [PDF]

Johannes Puschnig, Thomas Posch, Stefan Uttenthaler
We present night sky brightness measurements performed at the Vienna University Observatory and at the Leopold-Figl-Observatorium fuer Astrophysik, which is located about 35km to the southwest of Vienna. The measurements have been performed with Sky Quality Meters made by Unihedron. They cover a time span of roughly one year and have been carried out every night, yielding a night sky brightness value every 7 seconds and thus delivering a large amount of data. In this paper, the level of light pollution at the Vienna University Observatory, which ranges from 15 to 19.25 magnitudes per square arcsecond, is presented for the very first time in a systematic way. We discuss the influence of different environmental conditions on the night sky brightness and implications for human vision. We show that the circalunar rhythm of night sky brightness is extinguished at our observatory due to light pollution. Additionally, we present spectra of the night sky in Vienna, taken with a 0.8m telescope. The goal of these spectroscopic measurements was to identify the main types of light sources and the spectral lines which cause the light pollution in Vienna. It turned out that fluorescent lamps are responsible for the strongest lines of the night sky above Vienna (e.g. lines at 546 nm and at 611 nm).
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.7716

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