Comprehensive characterization of astronomical sites

Kislovodsk, Russia. 4–9 October 2010

The site testing programs in Antarctica and in Arctic

Astronomy from the Antarctic Plateau

October 8, 15:00 – 15:40
Tony Travouillon (TMT)

Astronomical Observatory Sites from the Canadian High Arctic

October 8, 15:40 – 16:10
Eric Steinbring (HIA)

Measurements of atmospheric transmission using Fourier transform spectrometers in far-infrared and submillimeter waves

October 8, 16:10 – 16:40
Hiroshi Matsuo (NAOJ)

Coffee break

October 8, 16:40 – 17:10

Astronomy at Dome A

October 8, 17:10 – 17:35
Xu Zhou (NAOC)

The i-band observing conditions at Dome A on the Antarctic plateau have been investigated using data acquired during 2008 with the Chinese Small Telescope ARray (CSTAR). The sky brightness, atmospheric extinction, cloud coverage and auroral appearance are obtained from these images. The median sky brightness of moonless nights is about 20.46 mag per square arcsec in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) i band magnitude system, and the median over all brightness in the Antarctic winter is about 19.81 mag per square arcsec. There were no thick clouds in 2008, and the weather is not so good as anticipated in June and July. We model contributions of the Sun and the Moon to the sky background to obtain the relationship between the sky brightness and extinction. Aurorae are identified by comparing the observed sky brightness to the sky brightness expected from this model. About 1.68% of the total images are affected by aurorae.

Using CSTAR to measure the sky brightness and transparency at Dome A, Antarctica

October 8, 17:35 – 18:00
Hu Zou (NAOC)

Development of the NLOT Site Characterization Instruments

October 8, 18:00 – 18:30
Padmakar Singh Parihar (IIA)

Over last several years it is being realized by the Indian astronomical community to establish a modern technology, state-of-the-art 8-10m class telescope at the high altitude site, some where located in trans Himalayan region. The identification of few potential sites for future's larger facility require several instruments, measuring various site characterizing parameters. Most of these instruments are custom made and cannot be easily procured from manufactures, so we decided to take this challenge and started developing our own site characterization instruments. In my talk I will briefly present the initiatives taken to develop various site characterization instruments at IIA India.


October 8, 18:30 – 19:00