NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0284

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0284


PI: Malcolm G. Smith, NOAO, msmith@ctio.noao.edu
Address: CTIO, Casilla 603, La Serena, Chile

Title: Spectroscopic status of Light Pollution at CTIO

Abstract: Our recent broad-band imaging (Kriscuinas et al. PASP in press) has demonstrated essentially zero measurable broad-band light pollution over La Serena down to the maximum zenith distances used under normal limit- switch operating conditions on Cerro Tololo. We wish to perform a qualitative check using spectroscopy at the CTIO 1.5m telescope. This is a quick check (to minimize use of telescope time) along the lines of the more detailed work on Kitt Peak and Mount Hopkins, reported by Massey and Foltz (2000, PASP, 112, 566-573). Examination of recent Hydra spectra suggest that very faint, high-pressure sodium radiation has been detected on Tololo and it is important to verify this identifiation by exposing in a direction over La Serena on a clear night when light pollution is obvious and on a second night when La Serena is covered in low cloud. This work is part of the wider "Astronomy and World Heritage" Initiative with UNESCO to investigate and act on the consequences of artificial night lighting - and to seek further levels of protection for the world's key observatory sites.


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