4 August 2010 Giant Magellan Telescope site testing: summary
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Abstract
Cerro Las Campanas located at Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) in Chile has been selected as the site for the Giant Magellan Telescope. We report results obtained since the commencement, in 2005, of a systematic site testing survey of potential GMT sites at LCO. Meteorological (cloud cover, temperature, pressure, wind, and humidity) and DIMM seeing data have been obtained at three potential sites, and are compared with identical data taken at the site of the twin Magellan 6.5m telescopes. In addition, measurements of the turbulence profile of the free-atmosphere above LCO have been collected with a MASS/DIMM. Furthermore, we consider photometric quality, light pollution, and precipitable water vapor (PWV). LCO, and Co. Las Campanas in particular, have dark skies, little or no risk of future light pollution, excellent seeing, moderate winds, PWV adequate for mid-IR astronomy during a reasonable fraction of the nights, and a high fraction of clear nights overall. Finally, Co. Las Campanas meets or exceeds all the defined science requirements.
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Joanna E. Thomas-Osip, Joanna E. Thomas-Osip, Patrick McCarthy, Patrick McCarthy, Gabriel Prieto, Gabriel Prieto, Mark M. Phillips, Mark M. Phillips, Matt Johns, Matt Johns, "Giant Magellan Telescope site testing: summary", Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 77331L (4 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856934; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.856934
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