15 July 2016 Measurements of airglow on Maunakea at Gemini Observatory
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Abstract
Gemini Observatory on Maunakea has been collecting optical and infrared science data for almost 15 years. We have begun a program to analyze imaging data from two of the original facility instruments, GMOS and NIRI, in order to measure sky brightness levels in multiple infrared and optical broad-band filters. The present work includes data from mid-2016 back through late-2008. We present measured background levels as a function of several operational quantities (e.g. moon phase, hours from twilight, season). We find that airglow is a significant contributor to background levels in several filters. Gemini is primarily a queue scheduled telescope, with observations being optimally executed in order to provide the most efficient use of telescope time. We find that while most parameters are well-understood, the atmospheric airglow remains challenging to predict. This makes it difficult to schedule observations which require dark skies in these filters, and we suggest improvements to ensure data quality.
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Katherine C. Roth, Katherine C. Roth, Adam Smith, Adam Smith, Andrew Stephens, Andrew Stephens, Olesja Smirnova, Olesja Smirnova, } "Measurements of airglow on Maunakea at Gemini Observatory", Proc. SPIE 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, 99101B (15 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233891; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233891
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