AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 28 Astronomical Observatories
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[28.01] 15-year Sky Background Trends at CTIO

D. R. Semler (Macalester College), H. Schwarz, M. Smith, N. Suntzeff (Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory)

We present UBVRI photometric magnitudes of sky background levels at CTIO from 1990 to present. The dataset is composed of images taken from supernova observations made with the 0.9m, 1.0m, 1.3m, 1.5m, and 4.0m telescopes at CTIO. We believe that we provide is the most complete dataset on sky background published to date.

Background levels for the images are determined by the peak value (mode) of the images' histograms. Images that are affected by the Moon, twilight, zodiacal light, the Galactic background, and non-photometric conditions are removed or corrected for. All magnitudes are corrected to zenith.

We will attempt to find artificial light pollution in these data in two ways. We compare high airmass images towards the main potential polluters, La Serena and Vicuņa to those pointing towards the dark Andes mountain range. We also track the color of the sky (B - V) over the data range and note that a contribution by sodium lamps that dominate city lighting would cause the night sky to become brighter in V.

This research is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0353843.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.ctio.noao.edu/REU/ctioreu\_2005/Projects2005/dsemler/science.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.