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Paper: Simple Night-Sky Measurements for “Globe at Night” in Chile with Sky-QualityMeters (SQMs) and Illustrated with Digital Photography—A Prototype for the IYA
Volume: 400, Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-on Symposium
Page: 152
Authors: Smith, M.G.; Warner, M.; Orellana, D.; Munizaga, D.; Sanhueza, P.; Bogglio, H.; Cartier, R.
Abstract: We report the status of, and plans for, simple estimates of the night-sky brightness on and around Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón in Chile, using UniHedron SQMs, in the context of public outreach and education activity. This early, basic, test plan—carried out as part of the 2008 “GLOBE at Night” initiative—is to be extended for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA). Simple annual estimates of this nature, involving schools and the public, can aid in the protection of professional and amateur astronomy observatories anywhere. A preliminary trial grid of SQM estimates at 46 points in the region around Tololo and Pachón (by DO and DM) has recently been integrated (by MW) into graphic overlay models on Google Earth maps. This data was also submitted to “GLOBE at Night, 2008.” All these estimates in 2008 serve as a local trial for an international campaign to be run in 2009 for the International Year of Astronomy. The increase in zenith brightness as one moves from the dark sky over Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón (21.7 mag) via CADIAS (20.7 mag) along a radius into the suburbs of La Serena (19.0 mag) is illustrated qualitatively with digital images of the sky looking towards and away from the La Serena/Coquimbo conurbation. We discuss some of the lessons learned for 2009.
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