WorldWideScience

Sample records for totally overcast skies

  1. The Accuracy of RADIANCE Software in Modelling Overcast Sky Condition

    OpenAIRE

    Baharuddin

    2013-01-01

    A validation study of the sky models of RADIANCE simulation software against the overcast sky condition has been carried out in order to test the accuracy of sky model of RADIANCE for modeling the overcast sky condition in Hong Kong. Two sets of data have been analysed. Firstly, data collected from a set of experiments using a physical scale model. In this experiment, the illuminance of four points inside the model was measured under real sky conditions. Secondly, the RADIANCE simulation has ...

  2. Photosynthetically-active radiation: sky radiance distributions under clear and overcast conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grant, R.H.; Heisler, G.M.; Gao, W.

    1996-01-01

    The photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), defined as the wavelength band of 0.400 μm to 0.700 μm, represents most of the visible solar radiation. Although the proportion of global irradiance that originates from diffuse sky radiation is higher for PAR than for all solar shortwave radiation, it is often assumed that the PAR diffuse sky radiation is distributed identically to that of all shortwave solar radiation. This assumption has not been tested. PAR sky radiance measurements were made in a rural area over a wide range of solar zenith angles. The distribution of PAR sky radiance was modeled using physically-based, non-linear equations.For clear skies, the normalized sky radiance distribution (N) was best modeled using the scattering angle (ψ) and the zenith position in the sky (Θ) as N (Θ, ψ) = 0.0361 [6.3 + (1 + cos 2 Θ / (1 - cos ψ)] [1-e -0.31 sec ( Θ]. The angle Ψ is defined by cos ψ = cos Θ cos Θ * + sin Θ sin Θ * cos Φ, where solar zenith angle is Θ* and the difference in azimuth between the sun and the position in the sky is Φ. Modeling of the overcast sky depended on the visibility of the solar disk. The translucent middle/high cloud overcast conditions (cloud base greater than 300 m above ground level) were best modeled as: N(Θ∗, ψ) = 0.149 + 0.084Θ∗ + 1.305e −2.5ψ while the translucent low cloud overcast conditions (cloud base less than 300 m above ground level) were best modeled as: N(Θ∗, ψ) = 0.080 + 0.058Θ∗ + 0.652e −2.1ψ . The obscured overcast sky condition (solar disk obscured) was best modeled as: N(Θ) = 0.441 [1 + 4.6cos Θ] /[1 + 4.6]. The unit of N for all equations is π Sr −1 , so that integration of each function over the sky hemisphere yields 1.0.These equations can be applied directly to the sky diffuse irradiance on the horizontal, I diff , to provide radiance distributions for the sky. Estimates of actual sky radiance distribution can be estimated from N a (Θ, ψ) = I diff N(Θ,

  3. Daylighting on the working plane in oriented attic rooms under overcast and clear sky

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kondáš Kristián

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The evaluation of daylight conditions in building interiors is based on the Daylight Factor concept after current Slovak standards. Criteria and requirements determined in these standards consider the worst daylight exterior conditions which are described by CIE overcast sky model. The sky luminance distribution of overcast sky is centrical to the zenith, so independence of window orientation to cardinal points is characteristic in daylighting calculations. The sky luminance distribution modelling is one of the main task of the daylight source research more than 50 years. It is evident that also other types of sky conditions exist in nature. An introduction of a new criterion based on photometric variables, which also consider sunlight influence, is expected. This article represents a study of the influence of the interior orientation on distribution of daylighting in attic spaces under an overcast and clear sky

  4. Spectral and Spatial UV Sky Radiance Measurements at a Seaside Resort Under Clear Sky and Slightly Overcast Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandmann, Henner; Stick, Carsten

    2014-01-01

    Spatial measurements of the diffusely scattered sky radiance at a seaside resort under clear sky and slightly overcast conditions have been used to calculate the sky radiance distribution across the upper hemisphere. The measurements were done in the summer season when solar UV radiation is highest. The selected wavelengths were 307, 350 and 550 nm representing the UVB, UVA and VIS band. Absolute values of radiance differ considerably between the wavelengths. Normalizing the measured values by use of direct solar radiance made the spatial distributions of unequal sky radiance comparable. The results convey a spatial impression of the different distributions of the radiance at the three wavelengths. Relative scattered radiance intensity is one order of magnitude greater in UVB than in VIS, whereas in UVA lies roughly in between. Under slightly overcast conditions scattered radiance is increased at all three wavelengths by about one order of magnitude. These measurements taken at the seaside underline the importance of diffuse scattered radiance. The effect of shading parts of the sky can be estimated from the distribution of sky radiance. This knowledge might be useful for sun seekers and in the treatment of people staying at the seaside for therapeutic purposes. © 2013 The American Society of Photobiology.

  5. First comparison of formaldehyde integral contents in ABL retrieved during clear-sky and overcast conditions by ZDOAS technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Victor; Borovski, Alexander; Postylyakov, Oleg

    2017-10-01

    Formaldehyde (HCHO) is involved in a lot of chemical reactions in the atmosphere. Taking into account that HCHO basically undergo by photolysis and reaction with hydroxyl radical within a few hours, short-lived VOCs and direct HCHO emissions can cause local HCHO enhancement over certain areas, and, hence, exceeding background level of HCHO can be examined as a local pollution of the atmosphere by VOCs or existence of a local HCHO source. Several retrieval algorithms applicable for DOAS measurements in cloudless were previously developed. In previous works we proposed a new algorithm applicable for the overcast conditions. The algorithm has the typical F-coefficient error of about 10% for winter season, about 5% for summer season, and varying from 15 to 45% for transition season if the atmospheric boundary layer is below the cloud base. In this paper we briefly present our results of the HCHO vertical column retrieval measured at Zvenigorod Scientific Station (ZSS) for overcast. ZSS (55°41'49''N, 36°46'29''E) is located in Moscow region in 38 km west from Moscow. Because Western winds prevail in this region, ZSS is a background station the most part of time. But in cases of Eastern wind, the air quality at ZSS is affected by Moscow megapolis, and polluted air masses formed above Moscow can reach station in a few hours. Due to the absence of alternative overcast data of HCHO, we compare our overcast data with the HCHO vertical content, which we obtained for clear sky. We investigate similarities and differences in their statistical behavior in different air mass. The average overcast HCHO data have similar to clear-sky HCHO positive temperature trends for all wind direction. We found that the average retrieved overcast HCHO contents are systematically greater than the clear-sky retrieval data. But the difference between data retrieved for the overcast and clear-sky conditions are different for Eastern and Western winds. This difference is about 0.5×1016 mol cm-2

  6. The Research Search For The Least Beneficial Overcast Sky And Progress In Defining Its Luminance Gradation Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kittler R.

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Recently illuminance levels under ISO/CIE homogeneous standard sky types were characterised in their relative terms after ISO/CIE (2004, 2003 standardised as normalised by the luminance in the zenith. Sky luminance and horizontal illuminance based on the gradation and scattering indicatrix functions, including the extreme overcast cases frequently encountered in nature, were recently determined in absolute physical units of luminance in kilocandles per meter square and of illuminance in kilolux. The historical search to find energy and visibility critical sky luminance distributions shows a progression of steps in studying the worst or critical overcast situations. That progression has enabled the determination and evaluation of interior illuminance for comparison of the merits of dual daylighting and artificial lighting under established criteria for comfortable visibility.

  7. Optical Polarization of Light from a Sorghum Canopy Measured Under Both a Clear and an Overcast Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderbilt, Vern; Daughtry, Craig; Biehl, Larry; Dahlgren, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: We tested the hypothesis that the optical polarization of the light reflected by a sorghum canopy is due to a Fresnel-type redirection, by sorghum leaf surfaces, of light from an unpolarized light source, the sun or overcast sky, toward the measuring sensor. If it can be shown that the source of the polarization of the light scattered by the sorghum canopy is a first surface, Fresnel-type reflection, then removing this surface reflected light from measurements of canopy reflectance presumably would allow better insight into the biochemical processes such as photosynthesis and metabolism that occur in the interiors of sorghum canopy leaves. Methods: We constructed a tower 5.9m tall in the center of a homogenous sorghum field. We equipped two Barnes MMR radiometers with polarization analyzers on the number 1, 3 and 7 Landsat TM wavelength bands. Positioning the radiometers atop the tower, we collected radiance data in 44 view directions on two days, one day with an overcast sky and the other, clear and sunlit. From the radiance data we calculated the linear polarization of the reflected light for each radiometer wavelength channel and view direction. Results and Discussion: Our experimental results support our hypothesis, showing that the amplitude of the linearly polarized portion of the light reflected by the sorghum canopy varied dramatically with view azimuth direction under a point source, the sun, but the amplitude varied little with view azimuth direction under the hemispherical source, the overcast sky. Under the clear sky, the angle of polarization depended upon the angle of incidence of the sunlight on the leaf, while under the overcast sky the angle of polarization depended upon the zenith view angle. These results support a polarized radiation transport model of the canopy that is based upon a first surface, Fresnel reflection from leaves in the sorghum canopy.

  8. Measuring Overcast Colors with All-Sky Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-01

    NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) United States Naval Academy (USNA),Mathematics...Science Department,Annapolis,MD,21402 8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER 9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 10. SPONSOR...are vestigial (29 No- vember 2006 curve). A few overcasts are bluest near the horizon, and this causes particularly large colori- metric excursions

  9. Impact of Indoor Use of Wood on the Quality of Interior Ambiances under Overcast and Clear Skies: Case Study of the Eugene H. Kruger Building, Québec City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoda Jafarian

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the potential of wood for improving environmental quality in interior spaces. In northern climate cities where overcast skies predominate, interior spaces may appear gloomy or dull, since natural light is white and uniform. Nevertheless it is observed that wooden surfaces tend to create warmer and brighter spaces under overcast sky conditions. The objectives of this research were twofold. The first was evaluating the quality of wooden spaces under two sky conditions in terms of color, brightness and contrast. The second objective was to investigate daylight quantity of wooden spaces under diffuse and clear sky conditions. The method involved on site-surveys using Photolux, a calibrated photoluminance meter. Data consist of calibrated digital images that were processed to analyze the quality of spaces based on brightness, contrast, and color. The Kruger Building, with its internal wooden architectural structure and decorative indoor panels, was chosen as a site study for this research. Conclusions suggest that knowing the effect of different sky conditions on wooden spaces can help architects and other professionals in designing more comfortable and efficient ambiances. More particularly, this research addresses issues related to the quantitative effects of wood on daylighting distribution, visual comfort and luminance diversity.

  10. Sky camera imagery processing based on a sky classification using radiometric data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alonso, J.; Batlles, F.J.; López, G.; Ternero, A.

    2014-01-01

    As part of the development and expansion of CSP (concentrated solar power) technology, one of the most important operational requirements is to have complete control of all factors which may affect the quantity and quality of the solar power produced. New developments and tools in this field are focused on weather forecasting improving both operational security and electricity production. Such is the case with sky cameras, devices which are currently in use in some CSP plants and whose use is expanding in the new technology sector. Their application is mainly focused on cloud detection, estimating their movement as well as their influence on solar radiation attenuation indeed, the presence of clouds is the greatest factor involved in solar radiation attenuation. The aim of this work is the detection and analysis of clouds from images taken by a TSI-880 model sky. In order to obtain accurate image processing, three different models were created, based on a previous sky classification using radiometric data and representative sky conditions parameters. As a consequence, the sky can be classified as cloudless, partially-cloudy or overcast, delivering an average success rate of 92% in sky classification and cloud detection. - Highlights: • We developed a methodology for detection of clouds in total sky imagery (TSI-880). • A classification of sky is presented according to radiometric data and sky parameters. • The sky can be classified as cloudless, partially cloudy and overcast. • The images processing is based on the sky classification for the detection of clouds. • The average success of the developed model is around 92%

  11. Daylight and energy implications for CIE standard skies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Danny H.W.

    2007-01-01

    Recently, the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) has adopted a range of 15 standard skies, which include the existing CIE overcast, very clear and cloudless polluted skies, covering the whole probable spectrum of usual skies found in the world. The traditional daylight factor (DF) approach with the calculations being based on an isotropic overcast sky, however, cannot cater to the dynamic variations in daylight luminance and illuminance as the sun's position changes under non-overcast skies. Currently, we propose a numerical procedure that considers the changes in the luminance of sky elements to predict the interior daylight illuminance under the 15 CIE standard skies. This paper evaluates the method by using a typical room with a large vertical glazing window facing north. The available daylight for the room at mean hourly sun positions in each month in terms of DF and illuminance levels were determined and compared with those based on a computer program, namely, RADIANCE. A modification to the ground reflected component was made when a well defined shadow was cast in front of the window facade. It is shown that the results estimated by the proposed approach are in reasonably good agreement with those produced from RADIANCE. The interior daylight and lighting energy consumption were also determined using the proposed and the traditional DF approaches. The findings reveal that daylighting designs using existing CIE overcast sky only would considerably underestimate the indoor daylight availability and electric lighting energy savings, especially under high design indoor illuminance settings

  12. Model for the angular distribution of sky radiance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper, F C; Brunger, A P

    1979-08-01

    A flexible mathematical model is introduced which describes the radiance of the dome of the sky under various conditions. This three-component continuous distribution (TCCD) model is compounded by the superposition of three separate terms, the isotropic, circumsolar and horizon brightening terms, each representing the contribution of a particular sky characteristic. In use a particular sky condition is characterized by the values of the coefficients of each of these three terms, defining the distribution of the total diffuse component. The TCCD model has been demonstrated to fit both the normalized clear sky data and the normalized overcast sky data with an RMS error of about ten percent of the man overall sky radiance. By extension the model could describe variable or partly clouded sky conditions. The model can aid in improving the prediction of solar collector performance.

  13. Simultaneous measurement of spectral sky radiance by a non-scanning multidirectional spectroradiometer (MUDIS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riechelmann, Stefan; Schrempf, Michael; Seckmeyer, Gunther

    2013-01-01

    We present a novel non-scanning multidirectional spectroradiometer (MUDIS) measuring the spectral sky radiance as a function of zenith and azimuth angle with a high spectral and temporal resolution. The instrument is based on a hyperspectral imager and measures spectral sky radiance in the wavelength range of 250–600 nm at 113 different directions simultaneously. MUDIS has been intercalibrated with a sky scanning CCD spectroradiometer (SCCD). Sky radiance measurements have been performed with both instruments under cloudless and overcast sky. The spectral actinic irradiance derived from those measurements agrees within 8% for wavelengths higher than 320 nm. The bias between synchronous MUDIS and SCCD sky radiance measurements during cloudless and overcast sky is below 5% for 320 and 500 nm with a 1σ standard deviation of less than 10%. MUDIS enables us to perform more than 220 000 spectral sky radiance measurements instead of approximately 6000 SCCD spectral sky radiance measurements per day and to measure spatial variations of spectral sky radiance simultaneously. (paper)

  14. Analysing the impact of reflectance distributions and well geometries on vertical surface daylight levels in atria for overcast skies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Du, Jiangtao; Sharples, Steve [School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Crookesmoor Building, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL (United Kingdom)

    2010-07-15

    This study investigated the impacts of different diffuse reflectance distributions and well geometries on vertical daylight factors and vertical internally reflected components in atria. Two forms of reflectance distribution patterns of wall surface were examined: horizontal and vertical reflectance band variation. The square atrium models studied have a broader WI range of 0.25-2.0, which represent shallow, medium and high atria. Radiance, a powerful package based on backward ray tracing technique, was used for the simulations of vertical daylight levels. The results show that different reflectance distributions of square atrium walls do have an impact on the vertical daylight factors and vertical internally reflected components under overcast sky condition. The impact relates to the orientation of the band with different reflectance distributions on the wall. Compared with the vertical band surface, the horizontal band surface has a much more complicated effect. The horizontal distributions of the reflectances significantly affects the vertical daylight levels at the locations more than 30% atrium height on the wall. For an atrium with a height more than 1/2 the width, the effect tends to increase with the increasing well index. The vertical distributions of the reflectance, nevertheless, do not substantially take effect on the vertical daylight levels in atria except for some special reflectance distribution patterns. (author)

  15. Determination atmospheric conditions by evaluating clearness index, turbidity and brightness of the sky

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kandilli, C.

    2005-01-01

    There are fifteen different sky types which range from totally overcast sky to low turbidity clear sky have been defined by CIE (International Commission on Illumination). For the applications of solar energy engineering and day lighting purposes, it has a great importance to determine the physical characteristics of atmosphere and the sky type. The most important parameters which define the sky type are clearness index, turbidity and brightness. In this study, the parameters of clearness index, turbidity and brightness of the sky belong to Izmir was calculated and their relations with solar radiation and its components were represented according to 10 years data (1994-2004) of meteorology station of Ege University Solar Energy Institute. In this study, clearness index, turbidity, sky clearness and brightness were evaluated to put forward the effects of the these parameters on the atmospheric condition for designing and engineering purposes

  16. Sky luminosity for Rio de Janeiro City - Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corbella, O.D.

    1995-12-01

    This paper presents sky luminosity data for Rio de Janeiro City, useful to be used in daylighting design in architecture. The data are presented as monthly graphics that correlate sunshine-hours with the frequency of occurrence during the day of a specific type of sky, that would present one of five defined characteristics (among clear and overcast sky). These results were derived from the knowledge of daily solar radiation and sunshine-hours data, for every day for a twelve year period. (author). 10 refs, 13 figs, 16 tabs

  17. Using routine meteorological data to derive sky conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Pagès

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Sky condition is a matter of interest for public and weather predictors as part of weather analyses. In this study, we apply a method that uses total solar radiation and other meteorological data recorded by an automatic station for deriving an estimation of the sky condition. The impetus of this work is the intention of the Catalan Meteorological Service (SMC to provide the public with real-time information about the sky condition. The methodology for deriving sky conditions from meteorological records is based on a supervised classification technique called maximum likelihood method. In this technique we first need to define features which are derived from measured variables. Second, we must decide which sky conditions are intended to be distinguished. Some analyses have led us to use four sky conditions: (a cloudless or almost cloudless sky, (b scattered clouds, (c mostly cloudy – high clouds, (d overcast – low clouds. An additional case, which may be treated separately, corresponds to precipitation (rain or snow. The main features for estimating sky conditions are, as expected, solar radiation and its temporal variability. The accuracy of this method of guessing sky conditions compared with human observations is around 70% when applied to four sites in Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula. The agreement increases if we take into account the uncertainty both in the automatic classifier and in visual observations.Key words. Meteorological and atmospheric dynamics (instruments and techniques; radiative processes – Atmospheric composition and structure (cloud physics and chemistry

  18. Using routine meteorological data to derive sky conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Pagès

    Full Text Available Sky condition is a matter of interest for public and weather predictors as part of weather analyses. In this study, we apply a method that uses total solar radiation and other meteorological data recorded by an automatic station for deriving an estimation of the sky condition. The impetus of this work is the intention of the Catalan Meteorological Service (SMC to provide the public with real-time information about the sky condition. The methodology for deriving sky conditions from meteorological records is based on a supervised classification technique called maximum likelihood method. In this technique we first need to define features which are derived from measured variables. Second, we must decide which sky conditions are intended to be distinguished. Some analyses have led us to use four sky conditions: (a cloudless or almost cloudless sky, (b scattered clouds, (c mostly cloudy – high clouds, (d overcast – low clouds. An additional case, which may be treated separately, corresponds to precipitation (rain or snow. The main features for estimating sky conditions are, as expected, solar radiation and its temporal variability. The accuracy of this method of guessing sky conditions compared with human observations is around 70% when applied to four sites in Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula. The agreement increases if we take into account the uncertainty both in the automatic classifier and in visual observations.

    Key words. Meteorological and atmospheric dynamics (instruments and techniques; radiative processes – Atmospheric composition and structure (cloud physics and chemistry

  19. The use of a sky camera for solar radiation estimation based on digital image processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alonso-Montesinos, J.; Batlles, F.J.

    2015-01-01

    The necessary search for a more sustainable global future means using renewable energy sources to generate pollutant-free electricity. CSP (Concentrated solar power) and PV (photovoltaic) plants are the systems most in demand for electricity production using solar radiation as the energy source. The main factors affecting final electricity generation in these plants are, among others, atmospheric conditions; therefore, knowing whether there will be any change in the solar radiation hitting the plant's solar field is of fundamental importance to CSP and PV plant operators in adapting the plant's operation mode to these fluctuations. Consequently, the most useful technology must involve the study of atmospheric conditions. This is the case for sky cameras, an emerging technology that allows one to gather sky information with optimal spatial and temporal resolution. Hence, in this work, a solar radiation estimation using sky camera images is presented for all sky conditions, where beam, diffuse and global solar radiation components are estimated in real-time as a novel way to evaluate the solar resource from a terrestrial viewpoint. - Highlights: • Using a sky camera, the solar resource has been estimated for one minute periods. • The sky images have been processed to estimate the solar radiation at pixel level. • The three radiation components have been estimated under all sky conditions. • Results have been presented for cloudless, partially-cloudy and overcast conditions. • For beam and global radiation, the nRMSE value is of about 11% under overcast skies.

  20. Measuring high-resolution sky luminance distributions with a CCD camera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tohsing, Korntip; Schrempf, Michael; Riechelmann, Stefan; Schilke, Holger; Seckmeyer, Gunther

    2013-03-10

    We describe how sky luminance can be derived from a newly developed hemispherical sky imager (HSI) system. The system contains a commercial compact charge coupled device (CCD) camera equipped with a fish-eye lens. The projection of the camera system has been found to be nearly equidistant. The luminance from the high dynamic range images has been calculated and then validated with luminance data measured by a CCD array spectroradiometer. The deviation between both datasets is less than 10% for cloudless and completely overcast skies, and differs by no more than 20% for all sky conditions. The global illuminance derived from the HSI pictures deviates by less than 5% and 20% under cloudless and cloudy skies for solar zenith angles less than 80°, respectively. This system is therefore capable of measuring sky luminance with the high spatial and temporal resolution of more than a million pixels and every 20 s respectively.

  1. Solar irradiance forecasting at one-minute intervals for different sky conditions using sky camera images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alonso-Montesinos, J.; Batlles, F.J.; Portillo, C.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • The solar resource has been predicted for three hours at 1-min intervals. • Digital image levels and cloud motion vectors are joint for irradiance forecasting. • The three radiation components have been predicted under different sky conditions. • Diffuse and global radiation has an nRMSE value around 10% in all sky conditions. • Beam irradiance is predicted with an nRMSE value of about 15% in overcast skies. - Abstract: In the search for new techniques to predict atmospheric features that might be useful to solar power plant operators, we have carried out solar irradiance forecasting using emerging sky camera technology. Digital image levels are converted into irradiances and then the maximum cross-correlation method is applied to obtain future predictions. This methodology is a step forward in the study of the solar resource, essential to solar plant operators in adapting a plant’s operating procedures to atmospheric conditions and to improve electricity generation. The results are set out using different statistical parameters, in which beam, diffuse and global irradiances give a constant normalized root-mean-square error value over the time interval for all sky conditions. The average measure is 25.44% for beam irradiance; 11.60% for diffuse irradiance and 11.17% for global irradiance.

  2. Sky brightness and color measurements during the 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruns, Donald G; Bruns, Ronald D

    2018-06-01

    The sky brightness was measured during the partial phases and during totality of the 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse. A tracking CCD camera with color filters and a wide-angle lens allowed measurements across a wide field of view, recording images every 10 s. The partially and totally eclipsed Sun was kept behind an occulting disk attached to the camera, allowing direct brightness measurements from 1.5° to 38° from the Sun. During the partial phases, the sky brightness as a function of time closely followed the integrated intensity of the unobscured fraction of the solar disk. A redder sky was measured close to the Sun just before totality, caused by the redder color of the exposed solar limb. During totality, a bluer sky was measured, dimmer than the normal sky by a factor of 10,000. Suggestions for enhanced measurements at future eclipses are offered.

  3. Variability and trend of diurnal temperature range in China and their relationship to total cloud cover and sunshine duration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xia, X. [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China). LAGEO

    2013-07-01

    This study aims to investigate the effect of total cloud cover (TCC) and sunshine duration (SSD) in the variation of diurnal temperature range (DTR) in China during 1954-2009. As expected, the inter-annual variation of DTR was mainly determined by TCC. Analysis of trends of 30- year moving windows of DTR and TCC time series showed that TCC changes could account for that of DTR in some cases. However, TCC decreased during 1954-2009, which did not support DTR reduction across China. DTRs under sky conditions such as clear, cloudy and overcast showed nearly the same decreasing rate that completely accounted for the overall DTR reduction. Nevertheless, correlation between SSD and DTR was weak and not significant under clear sky conditions in which aerosol direct radiative effect should be dominant. Furthermore, 30-60% of DTR reduction was associated with DTR decrease under overcast conditions in south China. This implies that aerosol direct radiative effect appears not to be one of the main factors determining long-term changes in DTR in China. (orig.)

  4. Systematic measurements of the night sky brightness at 26 locations in Eastern Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posch, Thomas; Binder, Franz; Puschnig, Johannes

    2018-05-01

    We present an analysis of the zenithal night sky brightness (henceforth: NSB) measurements at 26 locations in Eastern Austria focussing on the years 2015-2016, both during clear and cloudy to overcast nights. All measurements have been performed with 'Sky Quality Meters' (SQMs). For some of the locations, simultaneous aerosol content measurements are available, such that we were able to find a correlation between light pollution and air pollution at those stations. For all locations, we examined the circalunar periodicity of the NSB, seasonal variations as well as long-term trends in the recorded light pollution. The latter task proved difficult, however, due to varying meteorological conditions, potential detector 'aging' and other effects. For several remote locations, a darkening of the overcast night sky by up to 1 magnitude is recorded - indicating a very low level of light pollution -, while for the majority of the examined locations, a brightening of the night sky by up to a factor of 15 occurs due to clouds. We present suitable ways to plot and analyze huge long-term NSB datasets, such as mean-NSB histograms, circalunar, annual ('hourglass') and cumulative ('jellyfish') plots. We show that five of the examined locations reach sufficiently low levels of light pollution - with NSB values down to 21.8 magSQM/arcsec2 - as to allow the establishment of dark sky reserves, even to the point of reaching the 'gold tier' defined by the International Dark Sky Association. Based on the 'hourglass' plots, we find a strong circalunar periodicity of the NSB in small towns and villages ( < 5.000 inhabitants), with amplitudes of up to 5 magnitudes. Using the 'jellyfish' plots, on the other hand, we demonstrate that the examined city skies brighten by up to 3 magnitudes under cloudy conditions, which strongly dominate in those cumulative data representations. Nocturnal gradients of the NSB of 0.0-0.14 magSQM/arcsec2/h are found. The long-term development of the night sky

  5. Spatiotemporal change of sky polarization during the total solar eclipse on 29 March 2006 in Turkey: polarization patterns of the eclipsed sky observed by full-sky imaging polarimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sipocz, Brigitta; Hegedüs, Ramón; Kriska, György; Horváth, Gábor

    2008-12-01

    Using 180 degrees field-of-view (full-sky) imaging polarimetry, we measured the spatiotemporal change of the polarization of skylight during the total solar eclipse on 29 March 2006 in Turkey. We present our observations here on the temporal variation of the celestial patterns of the degree p and angle alpha of linear polarization of the eclipsed sky measured in the red (650 nm), green (550 nm), and blue (450 nm) parts of the spectrum. We also report on the temporal and spectral change of the positions of neutral (unpolarized, p = 0) points, and points with local minima or maxima of p of the eclipsed sky. Our results are compared with the observations performed by the same polarimetric technique during the total solar eclipse on 11 August 1999 in Hungary. Practically the same characteristics of celestial polarization were encountered during both eclipses. This shows that the observed polarization phenomena of the eclipsed sky may be general.

  6. Estimating soil water evaporation using radar measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeghi, Ali M.; Scott, H. D.; Waite, W. P.; Asrar, G.

    1988-01-01

    Field studies were conducted to evaluate the application of radar reflectivity as compared with the shortwave reflectivity (albedo) used in the Idso-Jackson equation for the estimation of daily evaporation under overcast sky and subhumid climatic conditions. Soil water content, water potential, shortwave and radar reflectivity, and soil and air temperatures were monitored during three soil drying cycles. The data from each cycle were used to calculate daily evaporation from the Idso-Jackson equation and from two other standard methods, the modified Penman and plane of zero-flux. All three methods resulted in similar estimates of evaporation under clear sky conditions; however, under overcast sky conditions, evaporation fluxes computed from the Idso-Jackson equation were consistently lower than the other two methods. The shortwave albedo values in the Idso-Jackson equation were then replaced with radar reflectivities and a new set of total daily evaporation fluxes were calculated. This resulted in a significant improvement in computed soil evaporation fluxes from the Idso-Jackson equation, and a better agreement between the three methods under overcast sky conditions.

  7. Enhanced solar global irradiance during cloudy sky conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schade, N.H.; Sandmann, H.; Stick, C. [Kiel Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Medizinische Klimatologie; Macke, A. [Kiel Univ. (DE). Leibniz Inst. fuer Meereswissenschaften (IFM-GEOMAR)

    2007-06-15

    The impact of cloudiness on the shortwave downwelling radiation (SDR) at the surface is investigated by means of collocated pyranometer radiation measurements and all-sky imager observations. The measurements have been performed in Westerland, a seaside resort on the North Sea island of Sylt, Germany, during summer 2004 and 2005. A main improvement to previous studies on this subject resulted from the very high temporal resolution of cloud images and radiation measurements and, therefore, a more robust statistical analysis of the occurrence of this effect. It was possible to observe an excess of solar irradiation compared to clear sky irradiation by more than 500 W/m{sup 2}, the largest observed excess irradiation to our knowledge so far. Camera images reveal that largest excess radiation is reached close to overcast situations with altocumulus clouds partly obscuring the solar disk, and preferably with cumulus clouds in lower levels. The maximum duration of the enhancements depends on its strength and ranges from 20 seconds (enhancements > 400 W/m{sup 2}) up to 140 seconds (enhancements > 200 W/m{sup 2}). (orig.)

  8. INLUX-DBR - A calculation code to calculate indoor natural illuminance inside buildings under various sky conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferraro, V.; Igawa, N.; Marinelli, V.

    2010-01-01

    A calculation code, named INLUX-DBR, is presented, which is a modified version of INLUX code, able to predict the illuminance distribution on the inside surfaces of a room with six walls and a window, and on the work plane. At each desired instant the code solves the system of the illuminance equations of each surface element, characterized by the latter's reflection coefficient and its view factors toward the other elements. In the model implemented in the code, the sky-diffuse luminance distribution, the sun beam light and the light reflected from the ground toward the room are considered. The code was validated by comparing the calculated values of illuminance with the experimental values measured inside a scale model (1:5) of a building room, in various sky conditions of overcast, clear and intermediate days. The validation is performed using the sky luminance data measured by a sky scanner and the measured beam illuminance of the sun as input data. A comparative analysis of some of the well-known calculation models of sky luminance, namely Perez, Igawa and CIE models was also carried out, comparing the code predictions and the measured values of inside illuminance in the scale model.

  9. Short-Term Solar Irradiance Forecasts Using Sky Images and Radiative Transfer Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Du

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose a novel forecast method which addresses the difficulty in short-term solar irradiance forecasting that arises due to rapidly evolving environmental factors over short time periods. This involves the forecasting of Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI that combines prediction sky images with a Radiative Transfer Model (RTM. The prediction images (up to 10 min ahead are produced by a non-local optical flow method, which is used to calculate the cloud motion for each pixel, with consecutive sky images at 1 min intervals. The Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI and the diffuse radiation intensity field under clear sky and overcast conditions obtained from the RTM are then mapped to the sky images. Through combining the cloud locations on the prediction image with the corresponding instance of image-based DNI and diffuse radiation intensity fields, the GHI can be quantitatively forecasted for time horizons of 1–10 min ahead. The solar forecasts are evaluated in terms of root mean square error (RMSE and mean absolute error (MAE in relation to in-situ measurements and compared to the performance of the persistence model. The results of our experiment show that GHI forecasts using the proposed method perform better than the persistence model.

  10. Improved Interfacial Bonding in Magnesium/Aluminum Overcasting Systems by Aluminum Surface Treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Chen, Yiqing; Luo, Alan A.

    2014-12-01

    "Overcasting" technique is used to produce bimetallic magnesium/aluminum (Mg/Al) structures where lightweight Mg can be cast onto solid Al substrates. An inherent difficulty in creating strong Mg/Al interfacial bonding is the natural oxide film on the solid Al surfaces, which reduces the wettability between molten Mg and Al substrates during the casting process. In the paper, an "electropolishing + anodizing" surface treatment has been developed to disrupt the oxide film on a dilute Al-0.08 wt pct Ga alloy, improving the metallurgical bonding between molten Mg and Al substrates in the bimetallic experiments carried out in a high-vacuum test apparatus. The test results provided valuable information of the interfacial phenomena of the Mg/Al bimetallic samples. The results show significantly improved metallurgical bonding in the bimetallic samples with "electropolishing + anodizing" surface treatment and Ga alloying. It is recommended to adjust the pre-heating temperature and time of the Al substrates and the Mg melt temperature to control the interfacial reactions for optimum interfacial properties in the actual overcasting processes.

  11. INLUX-DBR - A calculation code to calculate indoor natural illuminance inside buildings under various sky conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferraro, V.; Igawa, N.; Marinelli, V. [Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS) (Italy)

    2010-09-15

    A calculation code, named INLUX-DBR, is presented, which is a modified version of INLUX code, able to predict the illuminance distribution on the inside surfaces of a room with six walls and a window, and on the work plane. At each desired instant the code solves the system of the illuminance equations of each surface element, characterized by the latter's reflection coefficient and its view factors toward the other elements. In the model implemented in the code, the sky-diffuse luminance distribution, the sun beam light and the light reflected from the ground toward the room are considered. The code was validated by comparing the calculated values of illuminance with the experimental values measured inside a scale model (1:5) of a building room, in various sky conditions of overcast, clear and intermediate days. The validation is performed using the sky luminance data measured by a sky scanner and the measured beam illuminance of the sun as input data. A comparative analysis of some of the well-known calculation models of sky luminance, namely Perez, Igawa and CIE models was also carried out, comparing the code predictions and the measured values of inside illuminance in the scale model. (author)

  12. Accuracy of the hypothetical sky-polarimetric Viking navigation versus sky conditions: revealing solar elevations and cloudinesses favourable for this navigation method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Száz, Dénes; Farkas, Alexandra; Barta, András; Kretzer, Balázs; Blahó, Miklós; Egri, Ádám; Szabó, Gyula; Horváth, Gábor

    2017-09-01

    According to Thorkild Ramskou's theory proposed in 1967, under overcast and foggy skies, Viking seafarers might have used skylight polarization analysed with special crystals called sunstones to determine the position of the invisible Sun. After finding the occluded Sun with sunstones, its elevation angle had to be measured and its shadow had to be projected onto the horizontal surface of a sun compass. According to Ramskou's theory, these sunstones might have been birefringent calcite or dichroic cordierite or tourmaline crystals working as polarizers. It has frequently been claimed that this method might have been suitable for navigation even in cloudy weather. This hypothesis has been accepted and frequently cited for decades without any experimental support. In this work, we determined the accuracy of this hypothetical sky-polarimetric Viking navigation for 1080 different sky situations characterized by solar elevation θ and cloudiness ρ, the sky polarization patterns of which were measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry. We used the earlier measured uncertainty functions of the navigation steps 1, 2 and 3 for calcite, cordierite and tourmaline sunstone crystals, respectively, and the newly measured uncertainty function of step 4 presented here. As a result, we revealed the meteorological conditions under which Vikings could have used this hypothetical navigation method. We determined the solar elevations at which the navigation uncertainties are minimal at summer solstice and spring equinox for all three sunstone types. On average, calcite sunstone ensures a more accurate sky-polarimetric navigation than tourmaline and cordierite. However, in some special cases (generally at 35° ≤ θ ≤ 40°, 1 okta ≤ ρ ≤ 6 oktas for summer solstice, and at 20° ≤ θ ≤ 25°, 0 okta ≤ ρ ≤ 4 oktas for spring equinox), the use of tourmaline and cordierite results in smaller navigation uncertainties than that of calcite. Generally, under clear or less cloudy

  13. Validation of a spectral correction procedure for sun and sky reflections in above-water reflectance measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groetsch, Philipp M M; Gege, Peter; Simis, Stefan G H; Eleveld, Marieke A; Peters, Steef W M

    2017-08-07

    A three-component reflectance model (3C) is applied to above-water radiometric measurements to derive remote-sensing reflectance Rrs (λ). 3C provides a spectrally resolved offset Δ(λ) to correct for residual sun and sky radiance (Rayleigh- and aerosol-scattered) reflections on the water surface that were not represented by sky radiance measurements. 3C is validated with a data set of matching above- and below-water radiometric measurements collected in the Baltic Sea, and compared against a scalar offset correction Δ. Correction with Δ(λ) instead of Δ consistently reduced the (mean normalized root-mean-square) deviation between Rrs (λ) and reference reflectances to comparable levels for clear (Δ: 14.3 ± 2.5 %, Δ(λ): 8.2 ± 1.7 %), partly clouded (Δ: 15.4 ± 2.1 %, Δ(λ): 6.5 ± 1.4 %), and completely overcast (Δ: 10.8 ± 1.7 %, Δ(λ): 6.3 ± 1.8 %) sky conditions. The improvement was most pronounced under inhomogeneous sky conditions when measurements of sky radiance tend to be less representative of surface-reflected radiance. Accounting for both sun glint and sky reflections also relaxes constraints on measurement geometry, which was demonstrated based on a semi-continuous daytime data set recorded in a eutrophic freshwater lake in the Netherlands. Rrs (λ) that were derived throughout the day varied spectrally by less than 2 % relative standard deviation. Implications on measurement protocols are discussed. An open source software library for processing reflectance measurements was developed and is made publicly available.

  14. Accuracy of the hypothetical sky-polarimetric Viking navigation versus sky conditions: revealing solar elevations and cloudinesses favourable for this navigation method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Száz, Dénes; Farkas, Alexandra; Barta, András; Kretzer, Balázs; Blahó, Miklós; Egri, Ádám; Szabó, Gyula; Horváth, Gábor

    2017-09-01

    According to Thorkild Ramskou's theory proposed in 1967, under overcast and foggy skies, Viking seafarers might have used skylight polarization analysed with special crystals called sunstones to determine the position of the invisible Sun. After finding the occluded Sun with sunstones, its elevation angle had to be measured and its shadow had to be projected onto the horizontal surface of a sun compass. According to Ramskou's theory, these sunstones might have been birefringent calcite or dichroic cordierite or tourmaline crystals working as polarizers. It has frequently been claimed that this method might have been suitable for navigation even in cloudy weather. This hypothesis has been accepted and frequently cited for decades without any experimental support. In this work, we determined the accuracy of this hypothetical sky-polarimetric Viking navigation for 1080 different sky situations characterized by solar elevation θ and cloudiness ρ , the sky polarization patterns of which were measured by full-sky imaging polarimetry. We used the earlier measured uncertainty functions of the navigation steps 1, 2 and 3 for calcite, cordierite and tourmaline sunstone crystals, respectively, and the newly measured uncertainty function of step 4 presented here. As a result, we revealed the meteorological conditions under which Vikings could have used this hypothetical navigation method. We determined the solar elevations at which the navigation uncertainties are minimal at summer solstice and spring equinox for all three sunstone types. On average, calcite sunstone ensures a more accurate sky-polarimetric navigation than tourmaline and cordierite. However, in some special cases (generally at 35° ≤  θ  ≤ 40°, 1 okta ≤  ρ  ≤ 6 oktas for summer solstice, and at 20° ≤  θ  ≤ 25°, 0 okta ≤  ρ  ≤ 4 oktas for spring equinox), the use of tourmaline and cordierite results in smaller navigation uncertainties than that of calcite

  15. Clear-Sky Probability for the August 21, 2017, Total Solar Eclipse Using the NREL National Solar Radiation Database

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habte, Aron M [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Roberts, Billy J [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Kutchenreiter, Mark C [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Sengupta, Manajit [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Wilcox, Steve [Solar Resource Solutions, LLC, Lakewood, CO (United States); Stoffel, Tom [Solar Resource Solutions, LLC, Lakewood, CO (United States)

    2017-07-21

    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and collaborators have created a clear-sky probability analysis to help guide viewers of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse, the first continent-spanning eclipse in nearly 100 years in the United States. Using cloud and solar data from NREL's National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB), the analysis provides cloudless sky probabilities specific to the date and time of the eclipse. Although this paper is not intended to be an eclipse weather forecast, the detailed maps can help guide eclipse enthusiasts to likely optimal viewing locations. Additionally, high-resolution data are presented for the centerline of the path of totality, representing the likelihood for cloudless skies and atmospheric clarity. The NSRDB provides industry, academia, and other stakeholders with high-resolution solar irradiance data to support feasibility analyses for photovoltaic and concentrating solar power generation projects.

  16. Evaluation of sea-surface photosynthetically available radiation algorithms under various sky conditions and solar elevations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somayajula, Srikanth Ayyala; Devred, Emmanuel; Bélanger, Simon; Antoine, David; Vellucci, V; Babin, Marcel

    2018-04-20

    In this study, we report on the performance of satellite-based photosynthetically available radiation (PAR) algorithms used in published oceanic primary production models. The performance of these algorithms was evaluated using buoy observations under clear and cloudy skies, and for the particular case of low sun angles typically encountered at high latitudes or at moderate latitudes in winter. The PAR models consisted of (i) the standard one from the NASA-Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG), (ii) the Gregg and Carder (GC) semi-analytical clear-sky model, and (iii) look-up-tables based on the Santa Barbara DISORT atmospheric radiative transfer (SBDART) model. Various combinations of atmospheric inputs, empirical cloud corrections, and semi-analytical irradiance models yielded a total of 13 (11 + 2 developed in this study) different PAR products, which were compared with in situ measurements collected at high frequency (15 min) at a buoy site in the Mediterranean Sea (the "BOUée pour l'acquiSition d'une Série Optique à Long termE," or, "BOUSSOLE" site). An objective ranking method applied to the algorithm results indicated that seven PAR products out of 13 were well in agreement with the in situ measurements. Specifically, the OBPG method showed the best overall performance with a root mean square difference (RMSD) (bias) of 19.7% (6.6%) and 10% (6.3%) followed by the look-up-table method with a RMSD (bias) of 25.5% (6.8%) and 9.6% (2.6%) at daily and monthly scales, respectively. Among the four methods based on clear-sky PAR empirically corrected for cloud cover, the Dobson and Smith method consistently underestimated daily PAR while the Budyko formulation overestimated daily PAR. Empirically cloud-corrected methods using cloud fraction (CF) performed better under quasi-clear skies (CF0.7), however, all methods showed larger RMSD differences (biases) ranging between 32% and 80.6% (-54.5%-8.7%). Finally, three methods tested for low sun elevations revealed

  17. Polarization optics of the Brewster's dark patch visible on water surfaces versus solar height and sky conditions: theory, computer modeling, photography, and painting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takács, Péter; Barta, András; Pye, David; Horváth, Gábor

    2017-10-20

    When the sun is near the horizon, a circular band with approximately vertically polarized skylight is formed at 90° from the sun, and this skylight is only weakly reflected from the region of the water surface around the Brewster's angle (53° from the nadir). Thus, at low solar heights under a clear sky, an extended dark patch is visible on the water surface when one looks toward the north or south quarter perpendicular to the solar vertical. In this work, we study the radiance distribution of this so-called Brewster's dark patch (BDP) in still water as functions of the solar height and sky conditions. We calculate the pattern of reflectivity R of a water surface for a clear sky and obtain from this idealized situation the shape of the BDP. From three full-sky polarimetric pictures taken about a clear, a partly cloudy, and an overcast sky, we determine the R pattern and compose from that synthetic color pictures showing how the radiance distribution of skylight reflected at the water surface and the BDPs would look under these sky conditions. We also present photographs taken without a linearly polarizing filter about the BDP. Finally, we show a 19th century painting on which a river is seen with a dark region of the water surface, which can be interpreted as an artistic illustration of the BDP.

  18. Full-sky formulae for weak lensing power spectra from total angular momentum method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamauchi, Daisuke; Taruya, Atsushi; Namikawa, Toshiya

    2013-01-01

    We systematically derive full-sky formulae for the weak lensing power spectra generated by scalar, vector and tensor perturbations from the total angular momentum (TAM) method. Based on both the geodesic and geodesic deviation equations, we first give the gauge-invariant expressions for the deflection angle and Jacobi map as observables of the CMB lensing and cosmic shear experiments. We then apply the TAM method, originally developed in the theoretical studies of CMB, to a systematic derivation of the angular power spectra. The TAM representation, which characterizes the total angular dependence of the spatial modes projected along a line-of-sight, can carry all the information of the lensing modes generated by scalar, vector, and tensor metric perturbations. This greatly simplifies the calculation, and we present a complete set of the full-sky formulae for angular power spectra in both the E-/B-mode cosmic shear and gradient-/curl-mode lensing potential of deflection angle. Based on the formulae, we give illustrative examples of non-vanishing B-mode cosmic shear and curl-mode of deflection angle in the presence of the vector and tensor perturbations, and explicitly compute the power spectra

  19. Evaluating the spatio-temporal performance of sky-imager-based solar irradiance analysis and forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Thomas; Kalisch, John; Lorenz, Elke; Heinemann, Detlev

    2016-03-01

    Clouds are the dominant source of small-scale variability in surface solar radiation and uncertainty in its prediction. However, the increasing share of solar energy in the worldwide electric power supply increases the need for accurate solar radiation forecasts. In this work, we present results of a very short term global horizontal irradiance (GHI) forecast experiment based on hemispheric sky images. A 2-month data set with images from one sky imager and high-resolution GHI measurements from 99 pyranometers distributed over 10 km by 12 km is used for validation. We developed a multi-step model and processed GHI forecasts up to 25 min with an update interval of 15 s. A cloud type classification is used to separate the time series into different cloud scenarios. Overall, the sky-imager-based forecasts do not outperform the reference persistence forecasts. Nevertheless, we find that analysis and forecast performance depends strongly on the predominant cloud conditions. Especially convective type clouds lead to high temporal and spatial GHI variability. For cumulus cloud conditions, the analysis error is found to be lower than that introduced by a single pyranometer if it is used representatively for the whole area in distances from the camera larger than 1-2 km. Moreover, forecast skill is much higher for these conditions compared to overcast or clear sky situations causing low GHI variability, which is easier to predict by persistence. In order to generalize the cloud-induced forecast error, we identify a variability threshold indicating conditions with positive forecast skill.

  20. Evaluating the spatio-temporal performance of sky-imager-based solar irradiance analysis and forecasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Schmidt

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Clouds are the dominant source of small-scale variability in surface solar radiation and uncertainty in its prediction. However, the increasing share of solar energy in the worldwide electric power supply increases the need for accurate solar radiation forecasts. In this work, we present results of a very short term global horizontal irradiance (GHI forecast experiment based on hemispheric sky images. A 2-month data set with images from one sky imager and high-resolution GHI measurements from 99 pyranometers distributed over 10 km by 12 km is used for validation. We developed a multi-step model and processed GHI forecasts up to 25 min with an update interval of 15 s. A cloud type classification is used to separate the time series into different cloud scenarios. Overall, the sky-imager-based forecasts do not outperform the reference persistence forecasts. Nevertheless, we find that analysis and forecast performance depends strongly on the predominant cloud conditions. Especially convective type clouds lead to high temporal and spatial GHI variability. For cumulus cloud conditions, the analysis error is found to be lower than that introduced by a single pyranometer if it is used representatively for the whole area in distances from the camera larger than 1–2 km. Moreover, forecast skill is much higher for these conditions compared to overcast or clear sky situations causing low GHI variability, which is easier to predict by persistence. In order to generalize the cloud-induced forecast error, we identify a variability threshold indicating conditions with positive forecast skill.

  1. Evaluating the spatio-temporal performance of sky imager based solar irradiance analysis and forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, T.; Kalisch, J.; Lorenz, E.; Heinemann, D.

    2015-10-01

    Clouds are the dominant source of variability in surface solar radiation and uncertainty in its prediction. However, the increasing share of solar energy in the world-wide electric power supply increases the need for accurate solar radiation forecasts. In this work, we present results of a shortest-term global horizontal irradiance (GHI) forecast experiment based on hemispheric sky images. A two month dataset with images from one sky imager and high resolutive GHI measurements from 99 pyranometers distributed over 10 km by 12 km is used for validation. We developed a multi-step model and processed GHI forecasts up to 25 min with an update interval of 15 s. A cloud type classification is used to separate the time series in different cloud scenarios. Overall, the sky imager based forecasts do not outperform the reference persistence forecasts. Nevertheless, we find that analysis and forecast performance depend strongly on the predominant cloud conditions. Especially convective type clouds lead to high temporal and spatial GHI variability. For cumulus cloud conditions, the analysis error is found to be lower than that introduced by a single pyranometer if it is used representatively for the whole area in distances from the camera larger than 1-2 km. Moreover, forecast skill is much higher for these conditions compared to overcast or clear sky situations causing low GHI variability which is easier to predict by persistence. In order to generalize the cloud-induced forecast error, we identify a variability threshold indicating conditions with positive forecast skill.

  2. MODIS Collection 6 Clear Sky Restoral (CSR): Filtering Cloud Mast 'Not Clear' Pixels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Kerry G.; Platnick, Steven Edward; Wind, Galina; Riedi, Jerome

    2014-01-01

    Correctly identifying cloudy pixels appropriate for the MOD06 cloud optical and microphysical property retrievals is accomplished in large part using results from the MOD35 1km cloud mask tests (note there are also two 250m subpixel cloud mask tests that can convert the 1km cloudy designations to clear sky). However, because MOD35 is by design clear sky conservative (i.e., it identifies "not clear" pixels), certain situations exist in which pixels identified by MOD35 as "cloudy" are nevertheless likely to be poor retrieval candidates. For instance, near the edge of clouds or within broken cloud fields, a given 1km MODIS field of view (FOV) may in fact only be partially cloudy. This can be problematic for the MOD06 retrievals because in these cases the assumptions of a completely overcast homogenous cloudy FOV and 1-dimensional plane-parallel radiative transfer no longer hold, and subsequent retrievals will be of low confidence. Furthermore, some pixels may be identified by MOD35 as "cloudy" for reasons other than the presence of clouds, such as scenes with thick smoke or lofted dust, and should therefore not be retrieved as clouds. With such situations in mind, a Clear Sky Restoral (CSR) algorithm was introduced in C5 that attempts to identify pixels expected to be poor retrieval candidates. Table 1 provides SDS locations for CSR and partly cloudy (PCL) pixels.

  3. Sky coverage modeling for the whole sky for laser guide star multiconjugate adaptive optics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lianqi; Andersen, David; Ellerbroek, Brent

    2012-06-01

    The scientific productivity of laser guide star adaptive optics systems strongly depends on the sky coverage, which describes the probability of finding natural guide stars for the tip/tilt wavefront sensor(s) to achieve a certain performance. Knowledge of the sky coverage is also important for astronomers planning their observations. In this paper, we present an efficient method to compute the sky coverage for the laser guide star multiconjugate adaptive optics system, the Narrow Field Infrared Adaptive Optics System (NFIRAOS), being designed for the Thirty Meter Telescope project. We show that NFIRAOS can achieve more than 70% sky coverage over most of the accessible sky with the requirement of 191 nm total rms wavefront.

  4. Evaluation of two MM5-PBL parameterization for solar radiation and temperature estimation in the South-Eastern area of the Iberian Peninsula

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruiz-Arias, J.A.; Pozo-Vasquez, D.; Sanchez-Sanchez, N.; Hayas-Barru, A.; Tovar-Pescador, J.; Montavez, J.P.

    2008-01-01

    We study the relative performance of two different MM5-PBL parametrizations (Blackadar and MRF) simulating hourly values of solar irradiance and temperature in the south-eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula. The evaluation was carried out throughout the different season of the year 2005 and for three different sky conditions: clear-sky, broken-clouds and overcast conditions. Two integrations, one per PBL parameterization, were carried out for every sky condition and season of the year and results were compared with observational data. Overall, the MM5 model, both using the Blackadar or MRF PBL parameterization, revealed to be a valid tool to estimate hourly values of solar radiation and temperature over the study area. The influence of the PBL parameterization on the model estimates was found to be more important for the solar radiation than for the temperature and highly dependent on the season and sky conditions. Particularly, a detailed analysis revealed that, during broken-clouds conditions, the ability of the model to reproduce hourly changes in the solar radiation strongly depends upon the selected PBL parameterization. Additionally, it was found that solar radiation RMSE values are about one order of magnitude higher during broken-clouds and overcast conditions compared to clear-sky conditions. For the temperature, the two PBL parameterizations provide very similar estimates. Only under overcast conditions and during the autumn, the MRF provides significantly better estimates.

  5. Month-hour distributions of zenith luminance and diffuse illuminance in Madrid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soler, Alfonso; Gopinathan, Kannam K.; Robledo, Luis; Ruiz, Enrique

    2004-01-01

    Month-hour equal mean zenith luminance contours are obtained from one year of data of zenith luminance measurements for cloudless, overcast and partly cloudy skies and also when the combined data for all sky types are considered. For many hours in different months, the overcast sky luminance values are roughly about three times the cloudless sky luminance values and one and a half times the partly cloudy sky values. The dependence of month-hour equal mean zenith luminance contours on the ratio of global to extraterrestrial illuminance on a horizontal surface is also given. From equal mean zenith luminance contours, the approximate values of the mean zenith luminance for different sky conditions and different hours and months of the year can be easily obtained. Month-hour equal mean diffuse illuminance contours are obtained from diffuse illuminance measurements performed during the period 1992-1998. The dependence on solar altitude of the monthly average hourly values of diffuse illuminance is given and compared to the corresponding one obtained from data for Bet Dagan (Israel)

  6. Structure optimization and performance experiments of a solar-powered finned-tube adsorption refrigeration system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ji, Xu; Li, Ming; Fan, Jieqing; Zhang, Peng; Luo, Bin; Wang, Liuling

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • New-structure finned-tube adsorption bed for enhancing heat and mass transfer. • Temperatures on different parts of the adsorption tubes differ little. • Maximum COP of 0.122 and maximum daily ice-making of 6.5 kg are achieved by experiments. • Cooling efficiency of system with valve control higher than that without valve control. - Abstract: A large-diameter aluminum-alloy finned-tube absorbent bed collector was designed and optimized by enhancing the heat and mass transfer in the collector. The collection efficiency of the adsorbent bed collector was between 31.64% and 42.7%, and the temperature distribution in the absorbent bed was relatively uniform, beneficial to adsorption/desorption of the adsorbate in the absorbent bed. A solar-powered solid adsorption refrigeration system with the finned-tube absorbent bed collector was built. Some experiments corresponding to the adsorption/desorption process with and without a valve control were conducted in four typical weather conditions: sunny with clear sky, sunny with partly cloudy sky, cloudy sky and overcast sky. Activated carbon–methanol was utilized as the working pair for adsorption refrigeration in the experiments. The experiments achieved the maximum COP of 0.122 and the maximum daily ice-making of 6.5 kg. Under the weather conditions of sunny with clear sky, sunny with partly cloudy sky, and cloudy sky, ice-making phenomenon were observed. Even in the overcast-sky weather condition, the cooling efficiency of the system still reached 0.039 when the total solar radiation was 11.51 MJ. The cooling efficiency of the solar-powered adsorption refrigeration system with a valve control in the adsorption/desorption process was significantly higher than that without a valve control

  7. Dark Skies: Local Success, Global Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockwood, G. W.

    2009-01-01

    The Flagstaff, Arizona 1987 lighting code reduced the growth rate of man-made sky glow by a third. Components of the code include requirements for full cutoff lighting, lumens per acre limits in radial zones around observatories, and use of low-pressure sodium monochromatic lighting for roadways and parking lots. Broad public acceptance of Flagstaff's lighting code demonstrates that dark sky preservation has significant appeal and few visibility or public safety negatives. An inventory by C. Luginbuhl et al. of the light output and shielding of a sampling of various zoning categories (municipal, commercial, apartments, single-family residences, roadways, sports facilities, industrial, etc.), extrapolated over the entire city, yields a total output of 139 million lumens. Commercial and industrial sources account for 62% of the total. Outdoor sports lighting increases the total by 24% on summer evenings. Flagstaff's per capita lumen output is 2.5 times greater than the nominal 1,000 lumens per capita assumed by R. Garstang in his early sky glow modeling work. We resolved the discrepancy with respect to Flagstaff's measured sky glow using an improved model that includes substantial near ground attenuation by foliage and structures. A 2008 university study shows that astronomy contributes $250M annually to Arizona's economy. Another study showed that the application of lighting codes throughout Arizona could reduce energy consumption significantly. An ongoing effort led by observatory directors statewide will encourage lighting controls in currently unregulated metropolitan areas whose growing sky glow threatens observatory facilities more than 100 miles away. The national press (New York Times, the New Yorker, the Economist, USA Today, etc.) have publicized dark sky issues but frequent repetition of the essential message and vigorous action will be required to steer society toward darker skies and less egregious waste.

  8. Medical Effects and Dosimetric Data from Nuclear Tests at Semipalatinsk

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-10-01

    5 7 2 Displaced sex organs 3 11 7 Uterine prolapse and varicose labial veins 5 7 7 Total 130 273 119 The colpitis observed in middle-aged women was...breathing, and eye irritation. The skies were overcast and dusk fell; the cattle were restless, and howling dogs , their tails between their legs, would...Fibrocystic changes of the ovary 4 5 -- Cervical canal polyps 2 2 6 Uterine fi bromyoma 8 10 4 Posthysterectomy changes (radical hys- terectomy for cancer

  9. Trends in total column ozone over Australia and New Zealand and its influence on clear-sky surface erythemal irradiance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bodeker, G. E.

    1995-01-01

    Australia and New Zealand are two of the countries closest to the Antarctic ozone depletion and may therefore be 'at risk' as a result of the associated increases in surface ultraviolet (UV) radiation. To investigate the possible impact of mid-latitude ozone decreases on surface erythemal irradiances, monthly mean total ozone has been calculated from daily total ozone mapping spectrometer data for 5 Australian cities (Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney) and 3 New Zealand cities (Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington) from 1979 to 1992. These values have then been used as inputs to a single layer model to calculate noon clear-sky global UV irradiances and associated erythemal irradiances. In addition, the monthly mean ozone data have been modelled statistically for each location to reveal a long-term linear trend, an annual variation, a Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), a solar cycle component and a semi-annual (6 month) signal. Coefficients from these statistical models have been used to estimate monthly mean ozone and noon clear-sky erythemal irradiances to the year 2000 for each city. It is assumed that the rate of increase of stratospheric chlorine over the remainder of the century will remain constant. Given that there is some evidence that the rate of increase is decreasing, the results present here should be regarded as an upper limit. 33 refs., 7 tabs., 4 figs

  10. effect of climate on yam tuberization in the guinea savanna

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Osondu

    The response of yam tuber development to its micro-climate was monitored at the National. Centre for Agricultural .... when the sky isusually overcast by a low cumulus cloud thus blocking the earth surface from direct impact of solar radiation.

  11. An All-Sky Portable (ASP) Optical Catalogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flesch, Eric Wim

    2017-06-01

    This optical catalogue combines the all-sky USNO-B1.0/A1.0 and most-sky APM catalogues, plus overlays of SDSS optical data, into a single all-sky map presented in a sparse binary format that is easily downloaded at 9 Gb zipped. Total count is 1 163 237 190 sources and each has J2000 astrometry, red and blue magnitudes with PSFs and variability indicator, and flags for proper motion, epoch, and source survey and catalogue for each of the photometry and astrometry. The catalogue is available on http://quasars.org/asp.html, and additional data for this paper is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/50/5807fbc12595f.

  12. Clear sky solar insolation data for Islamabad

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akhter, P.; Baig, A.; Mufti, A.

    1990-09-01

    Monthly average values of both integrated and instantaneous clear sky solar radiation components for Islamabad territory have been presented and discussed. The components include total, direct normal, direct horizontal, global and diffuse radiations, sun hours, number of clear days and temperature for solar energy applications. Beam irradiance values are used to get clear sky (maximum) sun hours by ab-initio. The need for replacing the conventional sunshine recorder is discussed. (author). 8 refs, 1 fig, 2 tabs

  13. Reconstruction of Sky Illumination Domes from Ground-Based Panoramas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coubard, F.; Lelégard, L.; Brédif, M.; Paparoditis, N.; Briottet, X.

    2012-07-01

    The knowledge of the sky illumination is important for radiometric corrections and for computer graphics applications such as relighting or augmented reality. We propose an approach to compute environment maps, representing the sky radiance, from a set of ground-based images acquired by a panoramic acquisition system, for instance a mobile-mapping system. These images can be affected by important radiometric artifacts, such as bloom or overexposure. A Perez radiance model is estimated with the blue sky pixels of the images, and used to compute additive corrections in order to reduce these radiometric artifacts. The sky pixels are then aggregated in an environment map, which still suffers from discontinuities on stitching edges. The influence of the quality of estimated sky radiance on the simulated light signal is measured quantitatively on a simple synthetic urban scene; in our case, the maximal error for the total sensor radiance is about 10%.

  14. Digital all-sky polarization imaging of partly cloudy skies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pust, Nathan J; Shaw, Joseph A

    2008-12-01

    Clouds reduce the degree of linear polarization (DOLP) of skylight relative to that of a clear sky. Even thin subvisual clouds in the "twilight zone" between clouds and aerosols produce a drop in skylight DOLP long before clouds become visible in the sky. In contrast, the angle of polarization (AOP) of light scattered by a cloud in a partly cloudy sky remains the same as in the clear sky for most cases. In unique instances, though, select clouds display AOP signatures that are oriented 90 degrees from the clear-sky AOP. For these clouds, scattered light oriented parallel to the scattering plane dominates the perpendicularly polarized Rayleigh-scattered light between the instrument and the cloud. For liquid clouds, this effect may assist cloud particle size identification because it occurs only over a relatively limited range of particle radii that will scatter parallel polarized light. Images are shown from a digital all-sky-polarization imager to illustrate these effects. Images are also shown that provide validation of previously published theories for weak (approximately 2%) polarization parallel to the scattering plane for a 22 degrees halo.

  15. RECONSTRUCTION OF SKY ILLUMINATION DOMES FROM GROUND-BASED PANORAMAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Coubard

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of the sky illumination is important for radiometric corrections and for computer graphics applications such as relighting or augmented reality. We propose an approach to compute environment maps, representing the sky radiance, from a set of ground-based images acquired by a panoramic acquisition system, for instance a mobile-mapping system. These images can be affected by important radiometric artifacts, such as bloom or overexposure. A Perez radiance model is estimated with the blue sky pixels of the images, and used to compute additive corrections in order to reduce these radiometric artifacts. The sky pixels are then aggregated in an environment map, which still suffers from discontinuities on stitching edges. The influence of the quality of estimated sky radiance on the simulated light signal is measured quantitatively on a simple synthetic urban scene; in our case, the maximal error for the total sensor radiance is about 10%.

  16. Dark Sky Protection and Education - Izera Dark Sky Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlicki, Arkadiusz; Kolomanski, Sylwester; Mrozek, Tomasz; Zakowicz, Grzegorz

    2015-08-01

    Darkness of the night sky is a natural component of our environment and should be protected against negative effects of human activities. The night darkness is necessary for balanced life of plants, animals and people. Unfortunately, development of human civilization and technology has led to the substantial increase of the night-sky brightness and to situation where nights are no more dark in many areas of the World. This phenomenon is called "light pollution" and it can be rank among such problems as chemical pollution of air, water and soil. Besides the environment, the light pollution can also affect e.g. the scientific activities of astronomers - many observatories built in the past began to be located within the glow of city lights making the night observations difficult, or even impossible.In order to protect the natural darkness of nights many so-called "dark sky parks" were established, where the darkness is preserved, similar to typical nature reserves. The role of these parks is not only conservation but also education, supporting to make society aware of how serious the problem of the light pollution is.History of the dark sky areas in Europe began on November 4, 2009 in Jizerka - a small village situated in the Izera Mountains, when Izera Dark Sky Park (IDSP) was established - it was the first transboundary dark sky park in the World. The idea of establishing that dark sky park in the Izera Mountains originated from a need to give to the society in Poland and Czech Republic the knowledge about the light pollution. Izera Dark Sky Park is a part of the astro-tourism project "Astro Izery" that combines tourist attraction of Izera Valley and astronomical education under the wonderful starry Izera sky. Besides the IDSP, the project Astro Izery consists of the set of simple astronomical instruments (gnomon, sundial), natural educational trail "Solar System Model", and astronomical events for the public. In addition, twice a year we organize a 3-4 days

  17. SKYMONITOR: A Global Network for Sky Brightness Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Donald R.; Mckenna, D.; Pulvermacher, R.; Everett, M.

    2010-01-01

    We are implementing a global network to measure sky brightness at dark-sky critical sites with the goal of creating a multi-decade database. The heart of this project is the Night Sky Brightness Monitor (NSBM), an autonomous 2 channel photometer which measures night sky brightness in the visual wavelengths (Mckenna et al, AAS 2009). Sky brightness is measured every minute at two elevation angles typically zenith and 20 degrees to monitor brightness and transparency. The NSBM consists of two parts, a remote unit and a base station with an internet connection. Currently these devices use 2.4 Ghz transceivers with a range of 100 meters. The remote unit is battery powered with daytime recharging using a solar panel. Data received by the base unit is transmitted via email protocol to IDA offices in Tucson where it will be collected, archived and made available to the user community via a web interface. Two other versions of the NSBM are under development: one for radio sensitive areas using an optical fiber link and the second that reads data directly to a laptop for sites without internet access. NSBM units are currently undergoing field testing at two observatories. With support from the National Science Foundation, we will construct and install a total of 10 units at astronomical observatories. With additional funding, we will locate additional units at other sites such as National Parks, dark-sky preserves and other sites where dark sky preservation is crucial. We will present the current comparison with the National Park Service sky monitoring camera. We anticipate that the SKYMONITOR network will be functioning by the end of 2010.

  18. Night sky luminance under clear sky conditions: Theory vs. experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kocifaj, Miroslav

    2014-01-01

    Sky glow is caused by both natural phenomena and factors of anthropogenic origin, and of the latter ground-based light sources are the most important contributors for they emit the spatially linked spectral radiant intensity distribution of artificial light sources, which are further modulated by local atmospheric optics and perceived as the diffuse light of a night sky. In other words, sky glow is closely related to a city's shape and pattern of luminaire distribution, in practical effect an almost arbitrary deployment of random orientation of heterogeneous electrical light sources. Thus the luminance gradation function measured in a suburban zone or near the edges of a city is linked to the City Pattern or vice versa. It is shown that clear sky luminance/radiance data recorded in an urban area can be used to retrieve the bulk luminous/radiant intensity distribution if some a-priori information on atmospheric aerosols is available. For instance, the single scattering albedo of aerosol particles is required under low turbidity conditions, as demonstrated on a targeted experiment in the city of Frýdek-Mistek. One of the main advantages of the retrieval method presented in this paper is that the single scattering approximation is satisfactorily accurate in characterizing the light field near the ground because the dominant contribution to the sky glow has originated from beams propagated along short optical paths. - Highlights: • Urban sky glow is interpreted in terms of city emission function. • Luminance function in a suburban zone is linked to the City Pattern. • Single scattering approximation is applicable in modeling urban sky glow. • Information on aerosols represents valuable inputs to the retrieval procedure. • Sky glow patterns vary with light source distribution and spectral emission

  19. Dark Sky Education | CTIO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calendar Activities NOAO-S EPO Programs CADIAS Astro Chile Hugo E. Schwarz Telescope Dark Sky Education ‹› You are here CTIO Home » Outreach » NOAO-S EPO Programs » Dark Sky Education Dark Sky Education Dark Sky Education (in progress) Is an EPO Program. It runs Globe at Night, an annual program to

  20. Comparison between lighting performance of a virtual natural lighting solutions prototype and a real window based on computer simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.A. Mangkuto

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses the measurement and simulation of a first generation prototype of Virtual Natural Lighting Solutions (VNLS, which are systems that can artificially provide natural lighting as well as a realistic outside view, with properties comparable to those of real windows and skylights. Examples of employing Radiance as a simulation tool to predict the lighting performance of such solutions are shown, for a particular case study of a VNLS prototype displaying variations of a simplified view of overcast, clear, and partly cloudy skies. Measurement and simulation were conducted to evaluate the illuminance distribution on workplane level. The key point of this study is to show that simulations can be used to compare an actual VNLS prototype with a hypothetical real window under the same sky scenes, which was physically not possible, since the test room was not located at the building׳s façade. It is found that the investigated prototype yields a less rapidly drop illuminance distribution and a larger average illuminance than the corresponding real window, under the overcast (52 lx compared to 28 lx and partly cloudy (102 lx compared to 80 lx sky scenes. Under the clear sky scene, the real window yields a larger average illuminance (97 lx compared to the prototype (71 lx, due to the influence of direct sunlight.

  1. PePSS - A portable sky scanner for measuring extremely low night-sky brightness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocifaj, Miroslav; Kómar, Ladislav; Kundracik, František

    2018-05-01

    A new portable sky scanner designed for low-light-level detection at night is developed and employed in night sky brightness measurements in a rural region. The fast readout, adjustable sensitivity and linear response guaranteed in 5-6 orders of magnitude makes the device well suited for narrow-band photometry in both dark areas and bright urban and suburban environments. Quasi-monochromatic night-sky brightness data are advantageous in the accurate characterization of spectral power distribution of scattered and emitted light and, also allows for the possibility to retrieve light output patterns from whole-city light sources. The sky scanner can operate in both night and day regimes, taking advantage of the complementarity of both radiance data types. Due to its inherent very high sensitivity the photomultiplier tube could be used in night sky radiometry, while the spectrometer-equipped system component capable of detecting elevated intensities is used in daylight monitoring. Daylight is a source of information on atmospheric optical properties that in turn are necessary in processing night sky radiances. We believe that the sky scanner has the potential to revolutionize night-sky monitoring systems.

  2. Measuring Total Column Water Vapor by Pointing an Infrared Thermometer at the Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mims, Forrest M., III; Chambers, Lin H.; Brooks, David R.

    2011-01-01

    A 2-year study affirms that the temperature (Tz) indicated by an inexpensive ($20 to $60) IR thermometer pointed at the cloud-free zenith sky provides an approximate indication of the total column water vapor (precipitable water or PW). PW was measured by a MICROTOPS II sun photometer. The coefficient of correlation (r2) of the PW and Tz was 0.90, and the rms difference was 3.2 mm. A comparison of the Tz data with the PW provided by a GPS site 31 km NNE yielded an r2 of 0.79, and an rms difference of 5.8 mm. An expanded study compared Tz from eight IR thermometers with PW at various times during the day and night from 17 May to 18 October 2010, mainly at the Texas site and 10 days at Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO). The best results of this comparison were provided by two IR thermometers models that yielded an r2 of 0.96 and an rms difference with the PW of 2.7 mm. The results of both the ongoing 2-year study and the 5-month instrument comparison show that IR thermometers can measure PW with an accuracy (rms difference/mean PW) approaching 10%, the accuracy typically ascribed to sun photometers.

  3. Sky Detection in Hazy Image.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yingchao; Luo, Haibo; Ma, Junkai; Hui, Bin; Chang, Zheng

    2018-04-01

    Sky detection plays an essential role in various computer vision applications. Most existing sky detection approaches, being trained on ideal dataset, may lose efficacy when facing unfavorable conditions like the effects of weather and lighting conditions. In this paper, a novel algorithm for sky detection in hazy images is proposed from the perspective of probing the density of haze. We address the problem by an image segmentation and a region-level classification. To characterize the sky of hazy scenes, we unprecedentedly introduce several haze-relevant features that reflect the perceptual hazy density and the scene depth. Based on these features, the sky is separated by two imbalance SVM classifiers and a similarity measurement. Moreover, a sky dataset (named HazySky) with 500 annotated hazy images is built for model training and performance evaluation. To evaluate the performance of our method, we conducted extensive experiments both on our HazySky dataset and the SkyFinder dataset. The results demonstrate that our method performs better on the detection accuracy than previous methods, not only under hazy scenes, but also under other weather conditions.

  4. Assessment of a Technique for Estimating Total Column Water Vapor Using Measurements of the Infrared Sky Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merceret, Francis J.; Huddleston, Lisa L.

    2014-01-01

    A method for estimating the integrated precipitable water (IPW) content of the atmosphere using measurements of indicated infrared zenith sky temperature was validated over east-central Florida. The method uses inexpensive, commercial off the shelf, hand-held infrared thermometers (IRT). Two such IRTs were obtained from a commercial vendor, calibrated against several laboratory reference sources at KSC, and used to make IR zenith sky temperature measurements in the vicinity of KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The calibration and comparison data showed that these inexpensive IRTs provided reliable, stable IR temperature measurements that were well correlated with the NOAA IPW observations.

  5. Infrared Sky Imager (IRSI) Instrument Handbook

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morris, Victor R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2016-04-01

    The Infrared Sky Imager (IRSI) deployed at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility is a Solmirus Corp. All Sky Infrared Visible Analyzer. The IRSI is an automatic, continuously operating, digital imaging and software system designed to capture hemispheric sky images and provide time series retrievals of fractional sky cover during both the day and night. The instrument provides diurnal, radiometrically calibrated sky imagery in the mid-infrared atmospheric window and imagery in the visible wavelengths for cloud retrievals during daylight hours. The software automatically identifies cloudy and clear regions at user-defined intervals and calculates fractional sky cover, providing a real-time display of sky conditions.

  6. Spectral and diurnal variations in clear sky planetary albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briegleb, B.; Ramanathan, V.

    1982-01-01

    Spectral and diurnal variations in the clear sky planetary albedo of the earth are calculated using a radiative transfer model to obtain January and July values for a 5 deg x 5 deg global grid. The model employs observed climatological values of temperatures, humidities, snow and sea-ice cover. The diurnal cycle of clear sky albedo is calculated in the following intervals: 0.2-0.5, 0.5-0.7, and 0.7-4 microns. Observed ozone distribution is specified as a function of latitude and season. The 0.2-0.5 micron spectral albedo is 10-20% higher than the total albedo for all latitudes because of Rayleigh scattering; the 0.5-0.7 micron albedo differs from the total albedo by 1-2% for most latitudes, while the 0.7-4 micron albedo is 5-10% lower than the total because of strong atmospheric absorption. Planetary albedo decreases from morning to local noon, with diurnal variations being particularly strong over water.

  7. Dark Skies are a Universal Resource. So are Quiet Skies!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddalena, Ronald J.; Heatherly, S.

    2008-05-01

    You've just purchased your first telescope. But where to set it up? Certainly not a WalMart parking lot. Too much light pollution! In the same way that man-made light obscures our night sky and blinds ground-based optical telescopes, man-made radio signals blind radio telescopes as well. NRAO developed the Quiet Skies project to increase awareness of radio frequency interference (RFI) and radio astronomy in general by engaging students in local studies of RFI. To do that we created a sensitive detector which measures RFI. We produced 20 of these, and assembled kits containing detectors and supplementary materials for loan to schools. Students conduct experiments to measure the properties of RFI in their area, and input their measurements into a web-based data base. The Quiet Skies project is a perfect complement to the IYA Dark Skies Awareness initiative. We hope to place 500 Quiet Skies detectors into the field through outreach to museums and schools around the world. Should we be successful, we will sustain this global initiative via a continuing loan program. One day we hope to have a publicly generated image of the Earth which shows RFI much as the Earth at Night image illustrates light pollution. The poster will present the components of the project in detail, including our plans for IYA, and various low-cost alternative strategies for introducing RFI and radio astronomy to the public. We will share the results of some of the experiments already being performed by high school students. Development of the Quiet Skies project was funded by a NASA IDEAS grant. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

  8. Solar Resource Assessment with Sky Imagery and a Virtual Testbed for Sky Imager Solar Forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtz, Benjamin Bernard

    In recent years, ground-based sky imagers have emerged as a promising tool for forecasting solar energy on short time scales (0 to 30 minutes ahead). Following the development of sky imager hardware and algorithms at UC San Diego, we present three new or improved algorithms for sky imager forecasting and forecast evaluation. First, we present an algorithm for measuring irradiance with a sky imager. Sky imager forecasts are often used in conjunction with other instruments for measuring irradiance, so this has the potential to decrease instrumentation costs and logistical complexity. In particular, the forecast algorithm itself often relies on knowledge of the current irradiance which can now be provided directly from the sky images. Irradiance measurements are accurate to within about 10%. Second, we demonstrate a virtual sky imager testbed that can be used for validating and enhancing the forecast algorithm. The testbed uses high-quality (but slow) simulations to produce virtual clouds and sky images. Because virtual cloud locations are known, much more advanced validation procedures are possible with the virtual testbed than with measured data. In this way, we are able to determine that camera geometry and non-uniform evolution of the cloud field are the two largest sources of forecast error. Finally, with the assistance of the virtual sky imager testbed, we develop improvements to the cloud advection model used for forecasting. The new advection schemes are 10-20% better at short time horizons.

  9. Consideration of sky-shine radiation effects for the development of Korean regulatory guidance about industrial radiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yong Ki Chi; Bokyun Seo; Wantae Kim

    2015-01-01

    Although most of the sky-shine radiation levels in industrial radiography are below regulatory limits, sky-shine radiation could make a valuable contribution to the total radiation level near shielding facility with little shielding and open field without shielding. Therefore sky-shine radiation should be thoroughly predicted and supervised with the ALARA principle. In this study, we simulated sky-shine radiation for mobile irradiators using MCNP and newly suggested the equation for calculating sky-shine radiation. Also these results were applied to developing Korean regulatory guidance about industrial radiography and to recommending the requirement of the facility design, controlled or supervised area at work places. (author)

  10. Treasures of the Southern Sky

    CERN Document Server

    Gendler, Robert; Malin, David

    2011-01-01

    In these pages, the reader can follow the engaging saga of astronomical exploration in the southern hemisphere, in a modern merger of aesthetics, science, and a story of human endeavor. This book is truly a celebration of southern skies.  Jerry Bonnell, Editor - Astronomy Picture of the Day The southern sky became accessible to scientific scrutiny only a few centuries ago, after the first European explorers ventured south of the equator. Modern observing and imaging techniques have since revealed what seems like a new Universe, previously hidden below the horizon, a fresh astronomical bounty of beauty and knowledge uniquely different from the northern sky. The authors have crafted a book that brings this hidden Universe to all, regardless of location or latitude. Treasures of the Southern Sky celebrates the remarkable beauty and richness of the southern sky in words and with world-class imagery. In part, a photographic anthology of deep sky wonders south of the celestial equator, this book also celebrates th...

  11. The night sky companion a yearly guide to sky-watching 2008-2009

    CERN Document Server

    Plotner, Tammy

    2007-01-01

    The Night Sky Companion is a comprehensive guide to what can be explored in the heavens on a nightly basis. Designed to appeal to readers at all skill levels, it provides a digest for sky watchers interested in all types of astronomical information.

  12. Sky Subtraction with Fiber-Fed Spectrograph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Myriam

    2017-09-01

    "Historically, fiber-fed spectrographs had been deemed inadequate for the observation of faint targets, mainly because of the difficulty to achieve high accuracy on the sky subtraction. The impossibility to sample the sky in the immediate vicinity of the target in fiber instruments has led to a commonly held view that a multi-object fibre spectrograph cannot achieve an accurate sky subtraction under 1% contrary to their slit counterpart. The next generation of multi-objects spectrograph at the VLT (MOONS) and the planed MOS for the E-ELT (MOSAIC) are fiber-fed instruments, and are aimed to observed targets fainter than the sky continuum level. In this talk, I will present the state-of-art on sky subtraction strategies and data reduction algorithm specifically developed for fiber-fed spectrographs. I will also present the main results of an observational campaign to better characterise the sky spatial and temporal variations ( in particular the continuum and faint sky lines)."

  13. Adnyamathanha Night Skies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curnow, Paul

    2009-06-01

    Aboriginal Australians have been viewing the night skies of Australia for some 45,000 years and possibly much longer. During this time they have been able to develop a complex knowledge of the night sky, the terrestrial environment in addition to seasonal changes. However, few of us in contemporary society have an in-depth knowledge of the nightly waltz of stars above.

  14. Adjustment errors of sunstones in the first step of sky-polarimetric Viking navigation: studies with dichroic cordierite/ tourmaline and birefringent calcite crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Száz, Dénes; Farkas, Alexandra; Blahó, Miklós; Barta, András; Egri, Ádám; Kretzer, Balázs; Hegedüs, Tibor; Jäger, Zoltán; Horváth, Gábor

    2016-01-01

    sun-dial under 10 different sky conditions at 61° latitude, which was one of the main Viking sailing routes. According to our expermiments, under clear skies, using calcite or cordierite or tourmaline sunstones, Viking sailors could navigate with net orientation errors [Formula: see text]. Under overcast conditions, their net navigation error depends on the sunstone type: [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text].

  15. Enhancement of stack ventilation in hot and humid climate using a combination of roof solar collector and vertical stack

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yusoff, Wardah Fatimah Mohammad; Salleh, Elias [Department of Architecture, Faculty of Design and Architecture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor (Malaysia); Adam, Nor Mariah [Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor (Malaysia); Sapian, Abdul Razak [Department of Architecture, Kulliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design, International Islamic University Malaysia, P.O. Box 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Yusof Sulaiman, Mohamad [Solar Energy Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Tun Sri Lanang Library Building, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor (Malaysia)

    2010-10-15

    In the hot and humid climate, stack ventilation is inefficient due to small temperature difference between the inside and outside of naturally ventilated buildings. Hence, solar induced ventilation is a feasible alternative in enhancing the stack ventilation. This paper aims to investigate the effectiveness of a proposed solar induced ventilation strategy, which combines a roof solar collector and a vertical stack, in enhancing the stack ventilation performance in the hot and humid climate. The methodology selected for the investigation is physical experimental modelling which was carried out in the actual environment. The results are presented and discussed in terms of two performance variables: air temperature and air velocity. The findings indicate that the proposed strategy is able to enhance the stack ventilation, both in semi-clear sky and overcast sky conditions. The highest air temperature difference between the air inside the stack and the ambient air (T{sub i}-T{sub o}) is achieved in the semi-clear sky condition, which is about 9.9 C (45.8 C-35.9 C). Meanwhile, in the overcast sky condition, the highest air temperature difference (T{sub i}-T{sub o}) is 6.2 C (39.3 C-33.1 C). The experimental results also indicate good agreement with the theoretical results for the glass temperature, the air temperature in the roof solar collector's channel and the absorber temperature. The findings also show that wind has significant effect to the induced air velocity by the proposed strategy. (author)

  16. Causality and skies: is non-refocussing necessary?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bautista, A; Ibort, A; Lafuente, J

    2015-01-01

    The causal structure of a strongly causal, null pseudo-convex, space-time M is completely characterized in terms of a partial order on its space of skies defined by means of a class of non-negative Legendrian isotopies called sky isotopies. It is also shown that such partial order is determined by the class of future causal celestial curves, that is, curves in the space of light rays which are tangent to skies and such that they determine non-negative sky isotopies. It will also be proved that the space of skies Σ equipped with Low’s (or reconstructive) topology is homeomorphic and diffeomorphic to M under the only additional assumption that M separates skies, that is, that different events determine different skies. The sky-separating property of M is sharp and the previous result provides an answer to the question about the class of space-times whose causal structure, topological and differentiable structure can be reconstructed from their spaces of light rays and skies. These results can be understood as a Malament–Hawking-like theorem stated in terms of the partial order defined on the space of skies. (paper)

  17. Dark-Skies Awareness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.

    2009-05-01

    The arc of the Milky Way seen from a truly dark location is part of our planet's natural heritage. More than one fifth of the world population, two thirds of the United States population and one half of the European Union population have already lost naked eye visibility of the Milky Way. This loss, caused by light pollution, is a serious and growing issue that impacts astronomical research, the economy, ecology, energy conservation, human health, public safety and our shared ability to see the night sky. For this reason, "Dark Skies” is a cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy. Its goal is to raise public awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on local environments by getting people worldwide involved in a variety of programs that: 1. Teach about dark skies using new technology (e.g., an activity-based planetarium show on DVD, podcasting, social networking on Facebook and MySpace, a Second Life presence) 2. Provide thematic events on light pollution at star parties and observatory open houses (Dark Skies Discovery Sites, Nights in the (National) Parks, Sidewalk Astronomy) 3. Organize events in the arts (e.g., a photography contest) 4. Involve citizen-scientists in naked-eye and digital-meter star hunting programs (e.g., GLOBE at Night, "How Many Stars?", the Great World Wide Star Count and the radio frequency interference equivalent: "Quiet Skies") and 5. Raise awareness about the link between light pollution and public health, economic issues, ecological consequences, energy conservation, safety and security, and astronomy (e.g., The Starlight Initiative, World Night in Defense of Starlight, International Dark Sky Week, International Dark-Sky Communities, Earth Hour, The Great Switch Out, a traveling exhibit, downloadable posters and brochures). The presentation will provide an update, describe how people can become involved and take a look ahead at the program's sustainability. For more information, visit www.darkskiesawareness.org.

  18. Uncertainties of parameterized surface downward clear-sky shortwave and all-sky longwave radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gubler, S.; Gruber, S.; Purves, R. S.

    2012-06-01

    As many environmental models rely on simulating the energy balance at the Earth's surface based on parameterized radiative fluxes, knowledge of the inherent model uncertainties is important. In this study we evaluate one parameterization of clear-sky direct, diffuse and global shortwave downward radiation (SDR) and diverse parameterizations of clear-sky and all-sky longwave downward radiation (LDR). In a first step, SDR is estimated based on measured input variables and estimated atmospheric parameters for hourly time steps during the years 1996 to 2008. Model behaviour is validated using the high quality measurements of six Alpine Surface Radiation Budget (ASRB) stations in Switzerland covering different elevations, and measurements of the Swiss Alpine Climate Radiation Monitoring network (SACRaM) in Payerne. In a next step, twelve clear-sky LDR parameterizations are calibrated using the ASRB measurements. One of the best performing parameterizations is elected to estimate all-sky LDR, where cloud transmissivity is estimated using measured and modeled global SDR during daytime. In a last step, the performance of several interpolation methods is evaluated to determine the cloud transmissivity in the night. We show that clear-sky direct, diffuse and global SDR is adequately represented by the model when using measurements of the atmospheric parameters precipitable water and aerosol content at Payerne. If the atmospheric parameters are estimated and used as a fix value, the relative mean bias deviance (MBD) and the relative root mean squared deviance (RMSD) of the clear-sky global SDR scatter between between -2 and 5%, and 7 and 13% within the six locations. The small errors in clear-sky global SDR can be attributed to compensating effects of modeled direct and diffuse SDR since an overestimation of aerosol content in the atmosphere results in underestimating the direct, but overestimating the diffuse SDR. Calibration of LDR parameterizations to local conditions

  19. Uncertainties of parameterized surface downward clear-sky shortwave and all-sky longwave radiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Gubler

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available As many environmental models rely on simulating the energy balance at the Earth's surface based on parameterized radiative fluxes, knowledge of the inherent model uncertainties is important. In this study we evaluate one parameterization of clear-sky direct, diffuse and global shortwave downward radiation (SDR and diverse parameterizations of clear-sky and all-sky longwave downward radiation (LDR. In a first step, SDR is estimated based on measured input variables and estimated atmospheric parameters for hourly time steps during the years 1996 to 2008. Model behaviour is validated using the high quality measurements of six Alpine Surface Radiation Budget (ASRB stations in Switzerland covering different elevations, and measurements of the Swiss Alpine Climate Radiation Monitoring network (SACRaM in Payerne. In a next step, twelve clear-sky LDR parameterizations are calibrated using the ASRB measurements. One of the best performing parameterizations is elected to estimate all-sky LDR, where cloud transmissivity is estimated using measured and modeled global SDR during daytime. In a last step, the performance of several interpolation methods is evaluated to determine the cloud transmissivity in the night.

    We show that clear-sky direct, diffuse and global SDR is adequately represented by the model when using measurements of the atmospheric parameters precipitable water and aerosol content at Payerne. If the atmospheric parameters are estimated and used as a fix value, the relative mean bias deviance (MBD and the relative root mean squared deviance (RMSD of the clear-sky global SDR scatter between between −2 and 5%, and 7 and 13% within the six locations. The small errors in clear-sky global SDR can be attributed to compensating effects of modeled direct and diffuse SDR since an overestimation of aerosol content in the atmosphere results in underestimating the direct, but overestimating the diffuse SDR. Calibration of LDR parameterizations

  20. ROTSE All-Sky Surveys for Variable Stars. I. Test Fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akerlof, C.; Amrose, S.; Balsano, R.; Bloch, J.; Casperson, D.; Fletcher, S.; Gisler, G.; Hills, J.; Kehoe, R.; Lee, B.

    2000-01-01

    The Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment I (ROTSE-I) experiment has generated CCD photometry for the entire northern sky in two epochs nightly since 1998 March. These sky patrol data are a powerful resource for studies of astrophysical transients. As a demonstration project, we present first results of a search for periodic variable stars derived from ROTSE-I observations. Variable identification, period determination, and type classification are conducted via automatic algorithms. In a set of nine ROTSE-I sky patrol fields covering roughly 2000 deg2, we identify 1781 periodic variable stars with mean magnitudes between m v = 10.0 and m v = 15.5. About 90% of these objects are newly identified as variable. Examples of many familiar types are presented. All classifications for this study have been manually confirmed. The selection criteria for this analysis have been conservatively defined and are known to be biased against some variable classes. This preliminary study includes only 5.6% of the total ROTSE-I sky coverage, suggesting that the full ROTSE-I variable catalog will include more than 32,000 periodic variable stars. (c) (c) 2000. The American Astronomical Society

  1. 2014 Australasian sky guide

    CERN Document Server

    Lomb, Nick

    2013-01-01

    Compact, easy to use and reliable, this popular guide contains everything you need to know about the southern night sky with monthly astronomy maps, viewing tips and highlights, and details of all the year's exciting celestial events. Wherever you are in Australia or New Zealand, easy calculations allow you to estimate local rise and set times for the Sun, Moon and planets. The 2014 Australasian Sky Guide also provides information on the solar system, updated with the latest findings from space probes. Published annually since 1991, the Sky Guide continues to be a favourite with photographers,

  2. Dark Skies as a Universal Resource: Citizen Scientists Measuring Sky Brightness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, C. E.; Isbell, D.; Pompea, S. M.

    2007-12-01

    The international star-hunting event known as GLOBE at Night returned March 8-21, 2007 in two flavors: the classic GLOBE at Night activity incorporating unaided-eye observations which debuted last year, and a new effort to obtain precise measurements of urban dark skies using digital sky-brightness meters. Both flavors of the program were designed to aid in heightening the awareness about the impact of artificial lighting on local environments, and the ongoing loss of a dark night sky as a natural resource for much of the world's population. To make possible the digital GLOBE at Night program, NSF funded 135 low-cost, digital sky-quality meter (manufactured by Unihedron). With these, citizen-scientists took direct measurements of the integrated sky brightness across a wide swath of night sky. Along with related materials developed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the meters were distributed to citizen-scientists in 21 U.S. states plus Washington DC, and in 5 other countries, including Chile, where NOAO has a major observatory. The citizen- scientists were selected from teachers, their students, astronomers at mountain-top observatories, International Dark-Sky Association members and staff from 19 small science centers. Most sites had a coordinator, who instructed local educators in the proper use of the meters and develop a plan to share them as widely as possible during the 2-week window. The local teams pooled their data for regional analysis and in some cases shared the results with their schools and local policymakers. Building upon the worldwide participation sparked by the first GLOBE at Night campaign in March 2006, the observations this year approached 8500 (from 60 countries), 85% higher than the number from last year. The success of GLOBE at Night 2007 is a major step toward the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, when one goal is to make the digital data collection into a worldwide activity. In this presentation, we will outline

  3. Light pollution: Assessment of sky glow on two dark sky regions of Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Raul Cerveira; Pinto da Cunha, José; Peixinho, Nuno

    2016-01-01

    Artificial light at night (ALAN), producing light pollution (LP), is not a matter restricted to astronomy anymore. Light is part of modern societies and, as a consequence, the natural cycle day-night (bright-dark) has been interrupted in a large segment of the global population. There is increasing evidence that exposure to certain types of light at night and beyond threshold levels may produce hazardous effects to humans and the environment. The concept of "dark skies reserves" is a step forward in order to preserve the night sky and a means of enhancing public awareness of the problem of spread of light pollution worldwide. The aim of this study was to assess the skyglow at two sites in Portugal, the Peneda-Gerês National Park (PNPG) and the region now known as Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve. The latter site was classified as a "Starlight Tourism Destination" by the Starlight Foundation (the first in the world to achieve this classification) following a series of night sky measurements in situ described herein. The measurements at PNPG also contributed to the new set of regulations concerning light pollution at this national park. This study presents the first in situ systematic measurements of night sky brightness, showing that at the two sites the skies are mostly in levels 3 to 4 of the Bortle 9-level scale (with level 1 being the best achievable). The results indicate that the sources of light pollution and skyglow can be attributed predominantly to contamination from nearby urban regions.

  4. From Near-Neutral to Strongly Stratified: Adequately Modelling the Clear-Sky Nocturnal Boundary Layer at Cabauw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baas, P; van de Wiel, B J H; van der Linden, S J A; Bosveld, F C

    2018-01-01

    The performance of an atmospheric single-column model (SCM) is studied systematically for stably-stratified conditions. To this end, 11 years (2005-2015) of daily SCM simulations were compared to observations from the Cabauw observatory, The Netherlands. Each individual clear-sky night was classified in terms of the ambient geostrophic wind speed with a [Formula: see text] bin-width. Nights with overcast conditions were filtered out by selecting only those nights with an average net radiation of less than [Formula: see text]. A similar procedure was applied to the observational dataset. A comparison of observed and modelled ensemble-averaged profiles of wind speed and potential temperature and time series of turbulent fluxes showed that the model represents the dynamics of the nocturnal boundary layer (NBL) at Cabauw very well for a broad range of mechanical forcing conditions. No obvious difference in model performance was found between near-neutral and strongly-stratified conditions. Furthermore, observed NBL regime transitions are represented in a natural way. The reference model version performs much better than a model version that applies excessive vertical mixing as is done in several (global) operational models. Model sensitivity runs showed that for weak-wind conditions the inversion strength depends much more on details of the land-atmosphere coupling than on the turbulent mixing. The presented results indicate that in principle the physical parametrizations of large-scale atmospheric models are sufficiently equipped for modelling stably-stratified conditions for a wide range of forcing conditions.

  5. From Near-Neutral to Strongly Stratified: Adequately Modelling the Clear-Sky Nocturnal Boundary Layer at Cabauw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baas, P.; van de Wiel, B. J. H.; van der Linden, S. J. A.; Bosveld, F. C.

    2018-02-01

    The performance of an atmospheric single-column model (SCM) is studied systematically for stably-stratified conditions. To this end, 11 years (2005-2015) of daily SCM simulations were compared to observations from the Cabauw observatory, The Netherlands. Each individual clear-sky night was classified in terms of the ambient geostrophic wind speed with a 1 m s^{-1} bin-width. Nights with overcast conditions were filtered out by selecting only those nights with an average net radiation of less than - 30 W m^{-2}. A similar procedure was applied to the observational dataset. A comparison of observed and modelled ensemble-averaged profiles of wind speed and potential temperature and time series of turbulent fluxes showed that the model represents the dynamics of the nocturnal boundary layer (NBL) at Cabauw very well for a broad range of mechanical forcing conditions. No obvious difference in model performance was found between near-neutral and strongly-stratified conditions. Furthermore, observed NBL regime transitions are represented in a natural way. The reference model version performs much better than a model version that applies excessive vertical mixing as is done in several (global) operational models. Model sensitivity runs showed that for weak-wind conditions the inversion strength depends much more on details of the land-atmosphere coupling than on the turbulent mixing. The presented results indicate that in principle the physical parametrizations of large-scale atmospheric models are sufficiently equipped for modelling stably-stratified conditions for a wide range of forcing conditions.

  6. Education for Life in the Sky.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Charles E.

    1981-01-01

    The need to educate people about the sky as both a psychological and physical environment is discussed, including a formal curriculum schema (sky as habitat, sky as transport, influence on culture) and informal curriculum, with such topics as recreation, pollution, mythology, and clouds. (DC)

  7. ACS/WFC Sky Flats from Frontier Fields Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, J.; Lucas, R. A.; Grogin, N. A.; Bohlin, R. C.; Koekemoer, A. M.

    2018-04-01

    Parallel imaging data from the HST Frontier Fields campaign (Lotz et al. 2017) have been used to compute sky flats for the ACS/WFC detector in order to verify the accuracy of the current set of flat field reference files. By masking sources and then co-adding many deep frames, the F606W and F814W filters have enough combined background signal that from Poisson statistics are efficiency tracks the thickness of the two WFC chips. Observations of blue and red calibration standards measured at various positions on the detector (Bohlin et al. 2017) confirm the fidelity of the F814W flat, with aperture photometry consistent to 1% across the FOV, regardless of spectral type. At bluer wavelengths, the total sky background is substantially lower, and the F435W sky flat shows a combination of both flat errors and detector artifacts. Aperture photometry of the red standard star shows a maximum deviation of 1.4% across the array in this filter. Larger residuals up to 2.5% are found for the blue standard, suggesting that the spatial sensitivity in F435W depends on spectral type.

  8. NASA Science Engagement Through "Sky Art"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bethea, K. L.; Damadeo, K.

    2013-12-01

    Sky Art is a NASA-funded online community where the public can share in the beauty of nature and the science behind it. At the center of Sky Art is a gallery of amateur sky photos submitted by users that are related to NASA Earth science mission research areas. Through their submissions, amateur photographers from around the world are engaged in the process of making observations, or taking pictures, of the sky just like many NASA science instruments. By submitting their pictures and engaging in the online community discussions and interactions with NASA scientists, users make the connection between the beauty of nature and atmospheric science. Sky Art is a gateway for interaction and information aimed at drawing excitement and interest in atmospheric phenomena including sunrises, sunsets, moonrises, moonsets, and aerosols, each of which correlates to a NASA science mission. Educating the public on atmospheric science topics in an informal way is a central goal of Sky Art. NASA science is included in the community through interaction from scientists, NASA images, and blog posts on science concepts derived from the images. Additionally, the website connects educators through the formal education pathway where science concepts are taught through activities and lessons that align with national learning standards. Sky Art was conceived as part of the Education and Public Outreach program of the SAGE III on ISS mission. There are currently three other NASA mission involved with Sky Art: CALIPSO, GPM, and CLARREO. This paper will discuss the process of developing the Sky Art online website, the challenges of growing a community of users, as well as the use of social media and mobile applications in science outreach and education.

  9. Sky cover from MFRSR observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Kassianov

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The diffuse all-sky surface irradiances measured at two nearby wavelengths in the visible spectral range and their modeled clear-sky counterparts are the main components of a new method for estimating the fractional sky cover of different cloud types, including cumuli. The performance of this method is illustrated using 1-min resolution data from a ground-based Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR. The MFRSR data are collected at the US Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM Climate Research Facility (ACRF Southern Great Plains (SGP site during the summer of 2007 and represent 13 days with cumuli. Good agreement is obtained between estimated values of the fractional sky cover and those provided by a well-established independent method based on broadband observations.

  10. Fireballs in the Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Bland, P.

    2016-12-01

    Fireballs in the Sky is an innovative Australian citizen science program that connects the public with the research of the Desert Fireball Network (DFN). This research aims to understand the early workings of the solar system, and Fireballs in the Sky invites people around the world to learn about this science, contributing fireball sightings via a user-friendly app. To date, more than 23,000 people have downloaded the app world-wide and participated in planetary science. The Fireballs in the Sky app allows users to get involved with the Desert Fireball Network research, supplementing DFN observations and providing enhanced coverage by reporting their own meteor sightings to DFN scientists. Fireballs in the Sky reports are used to track the trajectories of meteors - from their orbit in space to where they might have landed on Earth. Led by Phil Bland at Curtin University in Australia, the Desert Fireball Network (DFN) uses automated observatories across Australia to triangulate trajectories of meteorites entering the atmosphere, determine pre-entry orbits, and pinpoint their fall positions. Each observatory is an autonomous intelligent imaging system, taking 1000×36Megapixel all-sky images throughout the night, using neural network algorithms to recognize events. They are capable of operating for 12 months in a harsh environment, and store all imagery collected. We developed a completely automated software pipeline for data reduction, and built a supercomputer database for storage, allowing us to process our entire archive. The DFN currently stands at 50 stations distributed across the Australian continent, covering an area of 2.5 million km^2. Working with DFN's partners at NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, the team is expanding the network beyond Australia to locations around the world. Fireballs in the Sky allows a growing public base to learn about and participate in this exciting research.

  11. SURVEYING THE DYNAMIC RADIO SKY WITH THE LONG WAVELENGTH DEMONSTRATOR ARRAY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Clarke, Tracy E.; Lane, W. M.; Gross, C.; Kassim, N. E.; Hicks, B.; Polisensky, E.; Stewart, K.; Ray, P. S.; Wood, D.; York, J. A.; Kerkhoff, A.; Dalal, N. Paravastu; Cohen, A. S.; Erickson, W. C.

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a search for radio transients at a frequency of 73.8 MHz (4 m wavelength) using the all-sky imaging capabilities of the Long Wavelength Demonstrator Array (LWDA). The LWDA was a 16-dipole phased array telescope, located on the site of the Very Large Array in New Mexico. The field of view of the individual dipoles was essentially the entire sky, and the number of dipoles was sufficiently small that a simple software correlator could be used to make all-sky images. From 2006 October to 2007 February, we conducted an all-sky transient search program, acquiring a total of 106 hr of data; the time sampling varied, being 5 minutes at the start of the program and improving to 2 minutes by the end of the program. We were able to detect solar flares, and in a special-purpose mode, radio reflections from ionized meteor trails during the 2006 Leonid meteor shower. We detected no transients originating outside of the solar system above a flux density limit of 500 Jy, equivalent to a limit of no more than about 10 -2 events yr -1 deg -2 , having a pulse energy density ∼>1.5 x 10 -20 J m -2 Hz -1 at 73.8 MHz for pulse widths of about 300 s. This event rate is comparable to that determined from previous all-sky transient searches, but at a lower frequency than most previous all-sky searches. We believe that the LWDA illustrates how an all-sky imaging mode could be a useful operational model for low-frequency instruments such as the Low Frequency Array, the Long Wavelength Array station, the low-frequency component of the Square Kilometre Array, and potentially the Lunar Radio Array.

  12. TWO MICRON ALL SKY SURVEY PHOTOMETRIC REDSHIFT CATALOG: A COMPREHENSIVE THREE-DIMENSIONAL CENSUS OF THE WHOLE SKY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bilicki, Maciej; Jarrett, Thomas H.; Cluver, Michelle E.; Steward, Louise; Peacock, John A.

    2014-01-01

    Key cosmological applications require the three-dimensional (3D) galaxy distribution on the entire celestial sphere. These include measuring the gravitational pull on the Local Group, estimating the large-scale bulk flow, and testing the Copernican principle. However, the largest all-sky redshift surveys—the 2MASS Redshift Survey and IRAS Point Source Catalog Redshift Survey—have median redshifts of only z = 0.03 and sample the very local universe. All-sky galaxy catalogs exist that reach much deeper—SuperCOSMOS in the optical, the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) in the near-IR, and WISE in the mid-IR—but these lack complete redshift information. At present, the only rapid way toward larger 3D catalogs covering the whole sky is through photometric redshift techniques. In this paper we present the 2MASS Photometric Redshift catalog (2MPZ) containing one million galaxies, constructed by cross-matching Two Micron All Sky Survey Extended Source Catalog (2MASS XSC), WISE, and SuperCOSMOS all-sky samples and employing the artificial neural network approach (the ANNz algorithm), trained on such redshift surveys as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, 6dFGS, and 2dFGRS. The derived photometric redshifts have errors nearly independent of distance, with an all-sky accuracy of σ z = 0.015 and a very small percentage of outliers. In this way, we obtain redshift estimates with a typical precision of 12% for all the 2MASS XSC galaxies that lack spectroscopy. In addition, we have made an early effort toward probing the entire 3D sky beyond 2MASS, by pairing up WISE with SuperCOSMOS and training the ANNz on GAMA redshift data currently reaching to z med ∼ 0.2. This has yielded photo-z accuracies comparable to those in the 2MPZ. These all-sky photo-z catalogs, with a median z ∼ 0.1 for the 2MPZ, and significantly deeper for future WISE-based samples, will be the largest and most complete of their kind for the foreseeable future

  13. Night sky a falcon field guide

    CERN Document Server

    Nigro, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Night Sky: A Falcon Field Guide covers both summer and winter constellations, planets, and stars found in the northern hemisphere. Conveniently sized to fit in a pocket and featuring detailed photographs, this informative guide makes it easy to identify objects in the night sky even from one's own backyard. From information on optimal weather conditions, preferred viewing locations, and how to use key tools of the trade, this handbook will help you adeptly navigate to and fro the vast and dynamic nighttime skies, and you'll fast recognize that the night sky's the limit.

  14. Passive unmanned sky spectroscopy for remote bird classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, Patrik; Brydegaard, Mikkel; Cocola, Lorenzo; Runemark, Anna; Åkesson, Susanne; Svanberg, Sune

    2011-11-01

    We present a method based on passive spectroscopy with aim to remotely study flying birds. A compact spectrometer is continuously recording spectra of a small section of the sky, waiting for birds to obscure part of the field-of-view when they pass the field in flight. In such situations the total light intensity received through the telescope, looking straight up, will change very rapidly as compared to the otherwise slowly varying sky light. On passage of a bird, both the total intensity and the spectral shape of the captured light changes notably. A camera aimed in the same direction as the telescope, although with a wider field-of-view, is triggered by the sudden intensity changes in the spectrometer to record additional information, which may be used for studies of migration and orientation. Example results from a trial are presented and discussed. The study is meant to explore the information that could be gathered and extracted with the help of a spectrometer connected to a telescope. Information regarding the color, size and height of flying birds is discussed. Specifically, an application for passive distance determination utilizing the atmospheric oxygen A-band absorption at around 760 nm is discussed.

  15. Light and energy - daylight measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christoffersen, Jens; Logadottir, A.; Traberg-Borup, S.; Barrie-Nielsen, K.

    2009-07-01

    All measurements where conducted in the spring of 2007, except the Interpane panel. The solar cell panels have been evaluated by three performance indicators to assess the daylight quantity within the room and the systems ability to maintain view to the outside. In the study, we used two performance indicators to assess the daylight quantity within the room: 1. the daylight factor (overcast sky) 2. the relative work plane illuminance (clear sky condition) Overcast sky: In general, all panels provided less daylight than the recommended requirement in the Danish Building Regulation of 2% on the work plane. This will most likely result in additional need for electric lighting. However, larger window areas and more parts of the facade with clear unobstructed glass may be one solution. Clear sky: In general, all panels provided less interior light levels than the two reference systems in the back of the room. Almost all systems aloud more or less direct sunlight in the window perimeter through the clear openings and additional needs for some kind of shading device is to be expected. Some systems blocked a large portion of the light in the majority of the room, and additional electric light in this part of the room may be needed. Only one performance indicator where used to describe the quality of the panels. View: In general, all panels, except two, obstruct the view significantly and cause figure/background confusion for a view position close to the window and the discrepancies of colour judgements. Only two systems provided a fairly clear view to the outside without to much distortion of the view. (au)

  16. Promoting Dark Sky Protection in Chile: the Gabriel Mistral IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary and Other AURA Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R. Chris; Smith, Malcolm; Pompea, Stephen; Sanhueza, Pedro; AURA-Chile EPO Team

    2018-01-01

    For over 20 years, AURA has been leading efforts promoting the protection of dark skies in northern Chile. Efforts began in the early 1990s at AURA's Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), working in collaboration with other international observatories in Chile including Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). CTIO also partnered with local communities, for example supporting Vicuña's effort to establish the first municipal observatory in Chile. Today we have developed a multifaceted effort of dark sky protection, including proactive government relations at national and local levels, a strong educational and public outreach program, and a program of highlighting international recognition of the dark skies through the IDA Dark Sky Places program. Work on international recognition has included the declaration of the Gabriel Mistral IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary, the first such IDA sanctuary in the world.

  17. A Chinese sky trust?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brenner, Mark [Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (United States)]. E-mail: brenner@econs.umass.edu; Riddle, Matthew [Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (United States)]. E-mail: mriddle@econs.umass.edu; Boyce, James K. [Political Economy Research Institute and Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (United States)]. E-mail: boyce@econs.umass.edu

    2007-03-15

    The introduction of carbon charges on the use of fossil fuels in China would have a progressive impact on income distribution. This outcome, which contrasts to the regressive distributional impact found in most studies of carbon charges in industrialized countries, is driven primarily by differences between urban and rural expenditure patterns. If carbon revenues were recycled on an equal per capita basis via a 'sky trust,' the progressive impact would be further enhanced: low-income (mainly rural) households would receive more in sky-trust dividends than they pay in carbon charges, and high-income (mainly urban) households would pay more than they receive in dividends. Thus a Chinese sky trust would contribute to both lower fossil fuel consumption and greater income equality.

  18. A Chinese sky trust?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brenner, Mark; Riddle, Matthew; Boyce, James K.

    2007-01-01

    The introduction of carbon charges on the use of fossil fuels in China would have a progressive impact on income distribution. This outcome, which contrasts to the regressive distributional impact found in most studies of carbon charges in industrialized countries, is driven primarily by differences between urban and rural expenditure patterns. If carbon revenues were recycled on an equal per capita basis via a 'sky trust,' the progressive impact would be further enhanced: low-income (mainly rural) households would receive more in sky-trust dividends than they pay in carbon charges, and high-income (mainly urban) households would pay more than they receive in dividends. Thus a Chinese sky trust would contribute to both lower fossil fuel consumption and greater income equality

  19. Design and assessment of an anidolic light-duct

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Courret, G.; Scartezzini, J.L. [Lab. d`Energie Solaire et de Physique du Batiment (LESO-PB), Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland); Francioli, D.; Meyer, J.J. [Lab. d`Ergonomie de la Vision (LEV), Inst. Univ. Romand de Sante au Travail, Lausanne (Switzerland)

    1998-08-01

    The system presented here, called Anidolic Ceiling, was developed to show the viability of intensive use of daylight by overcast outdoor conditions in nonresidential buildings. This device consists of a light-duct that is integrated in a suspended ceiling and leads midway into the office. Anidolic (nonimaging optics) elements are placed on either end of the duct, on the outside to collect light rays from the sky and on the inside to control the direction of the emitted light. The present paper describes the system design, as well as an experimental assessment of its daylighting performance in a comparison of a prototype and a full-size conventional facade, for a 6.6-m deep room. Measurements by overcast sky have established that the daylight factor on the work plane 5 m from the window is more than doubled. In addition, a monitoring campaign has shown that 30% of the energy for lighting can be saved. The system was also assessed with regard to the user. Visual comfort measurements (Laboratoire d`Ergonomie de la Vision`s (LEV) method) were carried out showing that for both clear and overcast outdoor conditions, the visual environment quality is objectively improved at the rear working place. Furthermore, 33 people tested both rooms one after the other. They were submitted to a series of visual acuity tests on printed paper and on a computer screen and had to fill in a questionnaire. A comparative study showed that the personal appreciation of the luminous environment is better in the room with an Anidolic Ceiling, with a significant reduction of reading errors both on paper and on the screen. (orig.)

  20. SkyNet: Modular nuclear reaction network library

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippuner, Jonas; Roberts, Luke F.

    2017-10-01

    The general-purpose nuclear reaction network SkyNet evolves the abundances of nuclear species under the influence of nuclear reactions. SkyNet can be used to compute the nucleosynthesis evolution in all astrophysical scenarios where nucleosynthesis occurs. Any list of isotopes can be evolved and SkyNet supports various different types of nuclear reactions. SkyNet is modular, permitting new or existing physics, such as nuclear reactions or equations of state, to be easily added or modified.

  1. Night-sky brightness monitoring in Hong Kong: a city-wide light pollution assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pun, Chun Shing Jason; So, Chu Wing

    2012-04-01

    Results of the first comprehensive light pollution survey in Hong Kong are presented. The night-sky brightness was measured and monitored around the city using a portable light-sensing device called the Sky Quality Meter over a 15-month period beginning in March 2008. A total of 1,957 data sets were taken at 199 distinct locations, including urban and rural sites covering all 18 Administrative Districts of Hong Kong. The survey shows that the environmental light pollution problem in Hong Kong is severe-the urban night skies (sky brightness at 15.0 mag arcsec(- 2)) are on average ~ 100 times brighter than at the darkest rural sites (20.1 mag arcsec(- 2)), indicating that the high lighting densities in the densely populated residential and commercial areas lead to light pollution. In the worst polluted urban location studied, the night-sky at 13.2 mag arcsec(- 2) can be over 500 times brighter than the darkest sites in Hong Kong. The observed night-sky brightness is found to be affected by human factors such as land utilization and population density of the observation sites, together with meteorological and/or environmental factors. Moreover, earlier night skies (at 9:30 p.m. local time) are generally brighter than later time (at 11:30 p.m.), which can be attributed to some public and commercial lightings being turned off later at night. On the other hand, no concrete relationship between the observed sky brightness and air pollutant concentrations could be established with the limited survey sampling. Results from this survey will serve as an important database for the public to assess whether new rules and regulations are necessary to control the use of outdoor lightings in Hong Kong.

  2. VLITE Surveys the Sky: A 340 MHz Companion to the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Wendy; Clarke, Tracy; Brisken, Walter; Cotton, William; Richards, Emily E.; Giacintucci, Simona; Kassim, Namir

    2018-01-01

    The VLA Low Band Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE; ) is a commensal observing system on the Karl G. Janksy Very Large Array (VLA) which was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory and NRAO. A 64 MHz sub-band from the prime focus 240-470 MHz dipoles is correlated during nearly all regular VLA observations. VLITE uses dedicated samplers and fibers, as well as a custom designed, real-time DiFX software correlator, and requires no additional resources from the VLA system running the primary science program. The experiment has been operating since November 2014 with 10 antennas; a recent expansion in summer 2017 increased that number to 16 and more than doubled the number of baselines.The VLA Sky Survey (VLASS; ), is an ongoing survey of the entire sky visible to the VLA at a frequency of 2-4 GHz. The observations are made using an "on-the-fly" (OTF) continuous RA scanning technique which fills in the sky by observing along rows of constant declination. VLITE breaks the data into 2-second integrations and correlates these at a central position every 1.5 degrees. All data for each correlator position is imaged separately, corrected and weighted by an appropriately elongated primary beam model, and then combined in the image plane to create a mosaic of the sky. A catalog of the sources is extracted to provide a 340 MHz sky model.We present preliminary images and catalogs from the 2017 VLASS observations which began in early September, 2017, and continued on a nearly daily basis throughout the fall. In addition to providing a unique sky model at 340 MHz, these data complement VLASS by providing spectral indices for all cataloged sources.

  3. Daytime Water Detection Based on Sky Reflections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rankin, Arturo; Matthies, Larry; Bellutta, Paolo

    2011-01-01

    A water body s surface can be modeled as a horizontal mirror. Water detection based on sky reflections and color variation are complementary. A reflection coefficient model suggests sky reflections dominate the color of water at ranges > 12 meters. Water detection based on sky reflections: (1) geometrically locates the pixel in the sky that is reflecting on a candidate water pixel on the ground (2) predicts if the ground pixel is water based on color similarity and local terrain features. Water detection has been integrated on XUVs.

  4. Educating for the Preservation of Dark Skies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Sandra Lee; Cianciolo, Frank; Wetzel, Marc; Finkelstein, Keely; Wren, William; Nance, Craig

    2015-08-01

    The stars at night really are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas at the McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas. Each year 80,000 visitors from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the Observatory to attend one of the three-times-a-week star parties. Many experience, for the first time, the humbling, splendor of a truly dark night sky. Over the last several years, the Observatory has experienced dramatic increases in visitation demonstrating the public’s appetite for science education, in general, and interest in the night sky, in particular. This increasing interest in astronomy is, ironically, occurring at a time when most of humanity’s skies are becoming increasingly light-polluted frustrating this natural interest. Dark skies and knowledgeable education and outreach staff are an important resource in maintaining the public’s interest in astronomy, support for astronomical research, and local tourism.This year Observatory educators were inspired by the observance of the International Year of Light to promote healthy outdoor lighting through its popular Astronomy Day distance learning program. This program reaches tens of thousands of K-12 students in Texas and other states with a message of how they can take action to preserve dark skies. As well, more than a thousand Boy Scouts visiting during the summer months receive a special program, which includes activities focusing on good lighting practices, thereby earning them credits toward an astronomy badge.The Observatory also offers a half-a-dozen K-12 teacher professional development workshops onsite each year, which provide about 90 teachers with dark skies information, best-practice lighting demonstrations, and red flashlights. Multi-year workshops for National Park and State of Texas Parks personnel are offered on dark sky preservation and sky interpretation at McDonald and a Dark Skies fund for retrofitting lights in the surrounding area has been established. The Observatory also uses

  5. Characterizing Sky Spectra Using SDSS BOSS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florez, Lina Maria; Strauss, Michael A.

    2018-01-01

    In the optical/near-infrared spectra gathered by a ground-based telescope observing very faint sources, the strengths of the emission lines due to the Earth’s atmosphere can be many times larger than the fluxes of the sources we are interested in. Thus the limiting factor in faint-object spectroscopy is the degree to which systematics in the sky subtraction can be minimized. Longwards of 6000 Angstroms, the night-sky spectrum is dominated by multiple vibrational/rotational transitions of the OH radical from our upper atmosphere. While the wavelengths of these lines are the same in each sky spectrum, their relative strengths vary considerably as a function of time and position on the sky. The better we can model their strengths, the better we can hope to subtract them off. We expect that the strength of lines from common upper energy levels will be correlated with one another. We used flux-calibrated sky spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (SDSS BOSS) to explore these correlations. Our aim is to use these correlations for creating improved sky subtraction algorithms for the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS) on the 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope. When PFS starts gathering data in 2019, it will be the most powerful multi-object spectrograph in the world. Since PFS will be gathering data on sources as faint as 24th magnitude and fainter, it's of upmost importance to be able to accurately measure and subtract sky spectra from the data that we receive.

  6. Daylight Management in Mediterranean Cities: When Shortage Is Not the Issue

    OpenAIRE

    Judit Lopez-Besora; Glòria Serra-Coch; Helena Coch; Antonio Isalgue

    2016-01-01

    Natural resources such as daylight and sunlight are highly appreciated in countries with prevailing overcast skies. Taking advantage of this scarce resource contributes to saving energy on artificial lighting. In contrast to northern, southern European cities are distinguished by a large number of days with direct sunlight caused by a propitious climate condition. While it is a positive issue in terms of energy availability, the abundance of it can be counterproductive if management measures ...

  7. SkyProbeBV: dual-color absolute sky transparency monitor to optimize science operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuillandre, Jean-Charles; Magnier, Eugene; Sabin, Dan; Mahoney, Billy

    2008-07-01

    Mauna Kea (4200 m elevation, Hawaii) is known for its pristine seeing conditions, but sky transparency can be an issue for science operations: 25% of the nights are not photometric, a cloud coverage mostly due to high-altitude thin cirrus. The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) is upgrading its real-time sky transparency monitor in the optical domain (V-band) into a dual-color system by adding a B-band channel and redesigning the entire optical and mechanical assembly. Since 2000, the original single-channel SkyProbe has gathered one exposure every minute during each observing night using a small CCD camera with a very wide field of view (35 sq. deg.) encompassing the region pointed by the telescope for science operations, and exposures long enough (30 seconds) to capture at least 100 stars of Hipparcos' Tychos catalog at high galactic latitudes (and up to 600 stars at low galactic latitudes). A key advantage of SkyProbe over direct thermal infrared imaging detection of clouds, is that it allows an accurate absolute measurement, within 5%, of the true atmospheric absorption by clouds affecting the data being gathered by the telescope's main science instrument. This system has proven crucial for decision making in the CFHT queued service observing (QSO), representing today 95% of the telescope time: science exposures taken in non-photometric conditions are automatically registered for being re-observed later on (at 1/10th of the original exposure time per pointing in the observed filters) to ensure a proper final absolute photometric calibration. If the absorption is too high, exposures can be repeated, or the observing can be done for a lower ranked science program. The new dual color system (simultaneous B & V bands) will allow a better characterization of the sky properties above Mauna Kea and should enable a better detection of the thinner cirrus (absorption down to 0.02 mag., i.e. 2%). SkyProbe is operated within the Elixir pipeline, a collection of tools

  8. The Python Sky Model: software for simulating the Galactic microwave sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, B.; Dunkley, J.; Alonso, D.; Næss, S.

    2017-08-01

    We present a numerical code to simulate maps of Galactic emission in intensity and polarization at microwave frequencies, aiding in the design of cosmic microwave background experiments. This python code builds on existing efforts to simulate the sky by providing an easy-to-use interface and is based on publicly available data from the WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) and Planck satellite missions. We simulate synchrotron, thermal dust, free-free and anomalous microwave emission over the whole sky, in addition to the cosmic microwave background, and include a set of alternative prescriptions for the frequency dependence of each component, for example, polarized dust with multiple temperatures and a decorrelation of the signals with frequency, which introduce complexity that is consistent with current data. We also present a new prescription for adding small-scale realizations of these components at resolutions greater than current all-sky measurements. The usefulness of the code is demonstrated by forecasting the impact of varying foreground complexity on the recovered tensor-to-scalar ratio for the LiteBIRD satellite. The code is available at: https://github.com/bthorne93/PySM_public.

  9. The influence of the lateral distances between buildings on the availability of indoor daylighting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Coelho Laranja

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study addresses aspects related to daylighting in the indoor environment, more specifically the influence of lateral distances between obstructing buildings on the availability of indoor daylighting, taking the height of the buildings and width of the roads into account. In accordance with the adopted methodology, comparisons were made of the percentage of illuminance values of the internal environment by using UDI (Useful Daylight Illuminance ranges on a selected point within an interior environment with an opening oriented to the North. The percentages of illuminance values were generated by simulation using the TropLux program in a rectangular geometry environment inserted in an urban setting in the city of Vitória, Espírito Santo (Latitude 20°19'S. The simulations were carried out for three types of sky patterns recognized by the CIE (Commission Internationale L'aclairage. One of the main results of this study was that, in locations with sky types 3 (overcast, 7 (partly cloudy, and 12 (clear, there were greater variations in the average annual internal illuminance when there were changes in the lateral distances between the obstructing buildings that were not directly in front of the building that was being analyzed. It was also found that in area with sky types 3 (overcast, 7 (partly cloudy, and 12 (clear, changes in the lateral distances between the three obstructing buildings had little effect on percentage changes in the 100≤UDI≤500 lux range and 500≤UDI ≤2000 lux range.

  10. Assessment of total evacuation systems for tall buildings

    CERN Document Server

    Ronchi, Enrico

    2014-01-01

    This SpringerBrief focuses on the use of egress models to assess the optimal strategy for total evacuation in high-rise buildings. It investigates occupant relocation and evacuation strategies involving the exit stairs, elevators, sky bridges and combinations thereof. Chapters review existing information on this topic and describe case study simulations of a multi-component exit strategy. This review provides the architectural design, regulatory and research communities with a thorough understanding of the current and emerging evacuation procedures and possible future options. A model case study simulates seven possible strategies for the total evacuation of two identical twin towers linked with two sky-bridges at different heights. The authors present the layout of the building and the available egress components including both vertical and horizontal egress components, namely stairs, occupant evacuation elevators (OEEs), service elevators, transfer floors and sky-bridges. The evacuation strategies employ a ...

  11. Sky-Radiance Models for Monte Carlo Radiative Transfer Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, I.; Dalimonte, D.; Santos, J. P.

    2012-04-01

    differences was afterwards investigated by analyzing how these models vary the sun and sky photon fraction in MC simulations that use the diffuse-to-total irradiance ratio. In this case, differences up to 14% have been found for λ=665 nm and θ*=60°. The study recommendation is then using Lsky models that, like the ZV expression, account for the wavelength dependence of light interaction with atmospheric particles and molecule when initializing MC simulations for ocean color applications, mostly in the case of analyses including the blue region of the visible spectra. Dr. Giuseppe Zibordi, Prof. Pedro Vieira and Tamito Kajiyama are duly acknowledged for valuable discussions. This study has been partiallysupported by ESA under contract n. 12595/09/I-OL with FCT/UNL, Portugal.

  12. Shortwave surface radiation network for observing small-scale cloud inhomogeneity fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakshmi Madhavan, Bomidi; Kalisch, John; Macke, Andreas

    2016-03-01

    As part of the High Definition Clouds and Precipitation for advancing Climate Prediction Observational Prototype Experiment (HOPE), a high-density network of 99 silicon photodiode pyranometers was set up around Jülich (10 km × 12 km area) from April to July 2013 to capture the small-scale variability of cloud-induced radiation fields at the surface. In this paper, we provide the details of this unique setup of the pyranometer network, data processing, quality control, and uncertainty assessment under variable conditions. Some exemplary days with clear, broken cloudy, and overcast skies were explored to assess the spatiotemporal observations from the network along with other collocated radiation and sky imager measurements available during the HOPE period.

  13. Transmittance of young Norway spruce stand canopy for photosynthetically active radiation during the growing season

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markova, I.; Kubasek, J.

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of transmittance of young Norway spruce stand canopy for photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was made at the study site of Bily Kriz (the Moravian-Silesian Beskids Mts., the Czech Republic) at different sky conditions during the growing season in 2010. For the description of PAR transmittance different phenological phases of the spruce stand development in clear and overcast days were chosen. The mean daily PAR transmittance of the spruce canopy was significantly higher in overcast days compared with clear ones. Diffuse PAR thus penetrated into lower parts of the canopy more efficiently than direct one. PAR transmittance of young Norway spruce stand canopy was different in individual phenological phases of the spruce stand canopy which was caused by changes in the stand structure during the growing season. Thus monitoring of transmittance of young Norway spruce stand canopy for PAR can help to describe the development of spruce stand canopy

  14. On the impact of cloudiness on the characteristics of nocturnal downslope flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Z. J.; Segal, M.; Garratt, J. R.; Pielke, R. A.

    1989-10-01

    The effects of cloud cover amount and the height of cloud base on nighttime thermally induced downslope flow were investigated using analytical and numerical model approaches. The conclusions obtained with the analytical and the numerical model evaluations agreed. It was concluded that, (i) as cloud cover increases and/or the height of cloud base decreases, the depth and the intensity of nighttime thermally-induced downslope flows may decrease by a factor reaching one sixth and one tenth, respectively, in the case of overcast low cloud; (ii) when skies suddenly cloud over around midnight, the development of the downslope flow is altered in different ways: a reduction in intensity; or a cessation of further development, depending on the fraction of cloud coverage, and (iii) with a sudden clearing of overcast low cloud around midnight, the depth and the intensity of the downslope flow increases significantly.

  15. Evaluation of Clear Sky Models for Satellite-Based Irradiance Estimates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sengupta, Manajit [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Gotseff, Peter [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2013-12-01

    This report describes an intercomparison of three popular broadband clear sky solar irradiance model results with measured data, as well as satellite-based model clear sky results compared to measured clear sky data. The authors conclude that one of the popular clear sky models (the Bird clear sky model developed by Richard Bird and Roland Hulstrom) could serve as a more accurate replacement for current satellite-model clear sky estimations. Additionally, the analysis of the model results with respect to model input parameters indicates that rather than climatological, annual, or monthly mean input data, higher-time-resolution input parameters improve the general clear sky model performance.

  16. Gaia , an all sky astrometric and photometric survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrasco, J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Gaia space mission includes a low resolution spectroscopic instrument to classify and parametrize the observed sources. Gaia is a full-sky unbiased survey down to about 20th magnitude. The scanning law yields a rather uniform coverage of the sky over the full mission. The data reduction is a global one over the full mission. Both sky coverage and data reduction strategy ensure an unprecedented all-sky homogeneous spectrophotometric survey. Certainly, that survey is of interest for future on-ground and space projects (LSST, PLATO, EUCLID, ...). This work addresses the exploitation of the Gaia spectrophotometry as standard photometry reference through the discussion of the sky coverage, the spectrophotometric precision and the expected uncertainties of the synthetic photometry derived from the low resolution Gaia spectra and photometry.

  17. Multiresolution analysis of the spatiotemporal variability in global radiation observed by a dense network of 99 pyranometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakshmi Madhavan, Bomidi; Deneke, Hartwig; Witthuhn, Jonas; Macke, Andreas

    2017-03-01

    The time series of global radiation observed by a dense network of 99 autonomous pyranometers during the HOPE campaign around Jülich, Germany, are investigated with a multiresolution analysis based on the maximum overlap discrete wavelet transform and the Haar wavelet. For different sky conditions, typical wavelet power spectra are calculated to quantify the timescale dependence of variability in global transmittance. Distinctly higher variability is observed at all frequencies in the power spectra of global transmittance under broken-cloud conditions compared to clear, cirrus, or overcast skies. The spatial autocorrelation function including its frequency dependence is determined to quantify the degree of similarity of two time series measurements as a function of their spatial separation. Distances ranging from 100 m to 10 km are considered, and a rapid decrease of the autocorrelation function is found with increasing frequency and distance. For frequencies above 1/3 min-1 and points separated by more than 1 km, variations in transmittance become completely uncorrelated. A method is introduced to estimate the deviation between a point measurement and a spatially averaged value for a surrounding domain, which takes into account domain size and averaging period, and is used to explore the representativeness of a single pyranometer observation for its surrounding region. Two distinct mechanisms are identified, which limit the representativeness; on the one hand, spatial averaging reduces variability and thus modifies the shape of the power spectrum. On the other hand, the correlation of variations of the spatially averaged field and a point measurement decreases rapidly with increasing temporal frequency. For a grid box of 10 km × 10 km and averaging periods of 1.5-3 h, the deviation of global transmittance between a point measurement and an area-averaged value depends on the prevailing sky conditions: 2.8 (clear), 1.8 (cirrus), 1.5 (overcast), and 4.2 % (broken

  18. Infrared Sky Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Stephan D.

    2009-02-01

    A retrospective is given on infrared sky surveys from Thomas Edison’s proposal in the late 1870s to IRAS, the first sensitive mid- to far-infrared all-sky survey, and the mid-1990s experiments that filled in the IRAS deficiencies. The emerging technology for space-based surveys is highlighted, as is the prominent role the US Defense Department, particularly the Air Force, played in developing and applying detector and cryogenic sensor advances to early mid-infrared probe-rocket and satellite-based surveys. This technology was transitioned to the infrared astronomical community in relatively short order and was essential to the success of IRAS, COBE and ISO. Mention is made of several of the little known early observational programs that were superseded by more successful efforts.

  19. Glazing façade modules : daylighting performance simulation for Bragança, Coimbra, Évora and Faro

    OpenAIRE

    Sacht, Helenice Maria; Bragança, L.; Almeida, Manuela Guedes de; Caram, Rosana

    2012-01-01

    The daylighting performance improvement is one better strategy to reduce the artificial lighting consumption in buildings and obviously requires solar radiation from the exterior. Daylighting comes not only from direct sunlight but also from illumination provided by the sky on overcast days. Particular attention must be given to daylighting while designing a building when the aim is to maximize visual comfort or to reduce energy consumption. Visual comfort of glazing façades is a fundamental ...

  20. The Sky at Night

    CERN Document Server

    Moore, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    For more than 50 years now Sir Patrick Moore has presented the BBC Television series Sky at Night; not a month has been missed – a record for any television series, and a record which may never be broken. Every three years or so a book is published covering the main events in both astronomy and space research. This is the 13th volume, not only a record of the programmes but also of the great advances and discoveries during the period covered - eclipses, comets, and the strange chemical lakes of Titan, for instance, but also anniversaries such as the fifteenth “birthday” of the Hubble Space Telescope, and not forgetting the programme celebrating the Sky at Night’s 50th year, attended by astronaut Piers Sellars and many others who appeared on the programme over the years. All the chapters are self-contained, and fully illustrated. In this new Sky at Night book you will find much to entertain you. It will appeal to amateurs and professionals alike.

  1. Experience in Solar System and Sky Motions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coles, K. S.

    2017-12-01

    To help students predict where they will see objects in the sky, they must comprehend sky motion and the relative motions of individual objects. Activities to promote this comprehension among college and secondary students include: Tracking star motion in the planetarium: Students predict star motion by marking the expected path on plastic hemisphere models of the celestial dome. They check their prediction by observing and marking the actual motion. For comprehension, comparing motion in different parts of the sky surpasses two-dimensional views of the sky in books or on computers. Mastery is assessed by the same exercise with the sky set at other latitudes, including those on the other side of the equator. Making sundials: Students first make a horizontal sundial for the latitude of their choice following written directions (e.g., Waugh, 1973). One problem to solve is how to convert sundial time to standard time. A prompt is a picture of the analemma (the position of the Sun in the sky at a fixed clock time over the course of a year). Tests of mastery include the questions, "What accounts for the shape of the analemma?" and "What information is needed to predict the shape of the analemma one would see on other planets?" Reference: Waugh, A. E., 1973, Sundials: their theory and construction: Dover, 228 p.

  2. 2015 Australasian sky guide

    CERN Document Server

    Lomb, Nick

    2014-01-01

    Compact, easy to use and reliable, this popular guide has been providing star gazers with everything they need to know about the southern night sky for the past 25 years. The 2015 guide will celebrate this landmark with highlights from the past as well as monthly astronomy maps, viewing tips and highlights, and details of the year's exciting celestial events.Wherever you are in Australia or New Zealand, easy calculations allow you to estimate local rise and set times for the Sun, Moon and planets. The 2015 Australasian Sky Guide also provides information on the solar system, updated with the l

  3. 2013 Australasian sky guide

    CERN Document Server

    Lomb, Nick

    2012-01-01

    Compact, easy to use and reliable, this popular guide contains everything you need to know about the southern night sky with monthly star maps, diagrams and details of all the year's exciting celestial events. Wherever you are in Australia or New Zealand, easy calculations allow you to determine when the Sun, Moon and planets will rise and set throughout the year. Also included is information on the latest astronomical findings from space probes and telescopes around the world. The Sky guide has been published annually by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, since 1991. It is recommended for photogr

  4. The New Progress of the Starry Sky Project of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohua

    2015-08-01

    Since the 28th General Assembly of IAU, the SSPC team made new progress:1. Enhanced the function of the SSPC team-- Established the contact with IAU C50, IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group, AWB and IDA,and undertakes the work of the IDA Beijing Chapter.-- Got supports from China’s National Astronomical Observatories, Beijing Planetarium, and Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.-- Signed cooperation agreements with Lighting Research Center, English Education Group and law Firm; formed the team force.2. Put forward a proposal to national top institutionThe SSPC submitted the first proposal about dark sky protection to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.3. Introduced the Criteria and Guideline of dark sky protectionThe SSPC team translated 8 documents of IDA, and provided a reference basis for Chinese dark sky protection.4. Actively establish dark sky places-- Plan a Dark Sky Reserve around Ali astronomical observatory (5,100m elevation) in Tibet. China’s Xinhua News Agency released the news.-- Combining with Hangcuo Lake, a National Natural Reserve and Scenic in Tibet, to plan and establish the Dark Sky Park.-- Cooperated with Shandong Longgang Tourism Group to construct the Dream Sky Theme Park in the suburbs of Jinan city.In the IYL 2015, the SSPC is getting further development:First, make dark sky protection enter National Ecological Strategy of “Beautiful China”. We call on: “Beautiful China” needs “Beautiful Night Sky” China should care the shared starry sky, and left this resource and heritage for children.Second, hold “Cosmic Light” exhibition in Shanghai Science and Technology Museum on August.Third, continue to establish Dark Sky Reserve, Park and Theme Park. We want to make these places become the bases of dark sky protection, astronomical education and ecological tourism, and develop into new cultural industry.Fourth, actively join international cooperation.Now, “Blue Sky, White Cloud and Starry Sky “have become

  5. Tropospheric haze and colors of the clear daytime sky.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Raymond L

    2015-02-01

    To casual observers, haze's visible effects on clear daytime skies may seem mundane: significant scattering by tropospheric aerosols visibly (1) reduces the luminance contrast of distant objects and (2) desaturates sky blueness. However, few published measurements of hazy-sky spectra and chromaticities exist to compare with these naked-eye observations. Hyperspectral imaging along sky meridians of clear and hazy skies at one inland and two coastal sites shows that they have characteristic colorimetric signatures of scattering and absorption by haze aerosols. In addition, a simple spectral transfer function and a second-order scattering model of skylight reveal the net spectral and colorimetric effects of haze.

  6. Aquarius L-Band Radiometers Calibration Using Cold Sky Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinnat, Emmanuel P.; Le Vine, David M.; Piepmeier, Jeffrey R.; Brown, Shannon T.; Hong, Liang

    2015-01-01

    An important element in the calibration plan for the Aquarius radiometers is to look at the cold sky. This involves rotating the satellite 180 degrees from its nominal Earth viewing configuration to point the main beams at the celestial sky. At L-band, the cold sky provides a stable, well-characterized scene to be used as a calibration reference. This paper describes the cold sky calibration for Aquarius and how it is used as part of the absolute calibration. Cold sky observations helped establish the radiometer bias, by correcting for an error in the spillover lobe of the antenna pattern, and monitor the long-term radiometer drift.

  7. Polarization patterns of the twilight sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Thomas W.; Warrant, Eric J.; Greiner, Birgit

    2005-08-01

    Although natural light sources produce depolarized light, patterns of partially linearly polarized light appear in the sky due to scattering from air molecules, dust, and aerosols. Many animals, including bees and ants, orient themselves to patterns of polarization that are present in daytime skies, when the intensity is high and skylight polarization is strong and predictable. The halicitid bee Megalopta genalis inhabits rainforests in Central America. Unlike typical bees, it forages before sunrise and after sunset, when light intensities under the forest canopy are very low, and must find its way to food sources and return to its nest in visually challenging circumstances. An important cue for the orientation could be patterns of polarization in the twilight sky. Therefore, we used a calibrated digital camera to image skylight polarization in an overhead patch of sky, 87.6° across, before dawn on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, where the bees are found. We simultaneously measured the spectral properties of polarized light in a cloudless patch of sky 15° across centered on the zenith. We also performed full-sky imaging of polarization before dawn and after dusk on Lizard Island in Australia, another tropical island. During twilight, celestial polarized light occurs in a wide band stretching perpendicular to the location of the hidden sun and reaching typical degrees of polarization near 80% at wavelengths >600 nm. This pattern appears about 45 minutes before local sunrise or disappears 45 minutes after local sunset (about 20 minutes after the onset of astronomical twilight at dawn, or before its end at dusk) and extends with little change through the entire twilight period. Such a strong and reliable orientation cue could be used for flight orientation by any animal with polarization sensitivity that navigates during twilight.

  8. A daytime measurement of the lunar contribution to the night sky brightness in LSST's ugrizy bands-initial results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlin, Michael; Stubbs, Christopher; Claver, Chuck

    2016-06-01

    We report measurements from which we determine the spatial structure of the lunar contribution to night sky brightness, taken at the LSST site on Cerro Pachon in Chile. We use an array of six photodiodes with filters that approximate the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope's u, g, r, i, z, and y bands. We use the sun as a proxy for the moon, and measure sky brightness as a function of zenith angle of the point on sky, zenith angle of the sun, and angular distance between the sun and the point on sky. We make a correction for the difference between the illumination spectrum of the sun and the moon. Since scattered sunlight totally dominates the daytime sky brightness, this technique allows us to cleanly determine the contribution to the (cloudless) night sky from backscattered moonlight, without contamination from other sources of night sky brightness. We estimate our uncertainty in the relative lunar night sky brightness vs. zenith and lunar angle to be between 0.3-0.7 mags depending on the passband. This information is useful in planning the optimal execution of the LSST survey, and perhaps for other astronomical observations as well. Although our primary objective is to map out the angular structure and spectrum of the scattered light from the atmosphere and particulates, we also make an estimate of the expected number of scattered lunar photons per pixel per second in LSST, and find values that are in overall agreement with previous estimates.

  9. Go-To Telescopes Under Suburban Skies

    CERN Document Server

    Monks, Neale

    2010-01-01

    For the last four centuries stargazers have turned their telescopes to the night skies to look at its wonders, but only in this age of computers has it become possible to let the telescope find for you the object you are looking for! So-called “go-to” telescopes are programmed with the locations of thousands of objects, including dazzling distant Suns, stunning neighboring galaxies, globular and open star clusters, the remnants of past supernovae, and many other breathtaking sights. This book does not tell you how to use your Go-to telescope. Your manual will help you do that. It tells you what to look for in the deep sky and why, and what equipment to best see it with. Organized broadly by what is best for viewing in the northern hemisphere in different seasons, Monks further divides the sights of each season into groupings such as “Showpiece Objects,” “Interesting Deep Sky Objects,” and “Obscure and Challenging Deep Sky Objects.” He also tells what objects are visible even in light-polluted ...

  10. An Innovative Collaboration on Dark Skies Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.; Mayer, M.; EPO Students, NOAO

    2011-01-01

    Dark night skies are being lost all over the globe, and hundreds of millions of dollars of energy are being wasted in the process.. Improper lighting is the main cause of light pollution. Light pollution is a concern on many fronts, affecting safety, energy conservation, cost, human health, and wildlife. It also robs us of the beauty of viewing the night sky. In the U.S. alone, over half of the population cannot see the Milky Way from where they live. To help address this, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory Education and Public Outreach (NOAO EPO) staff created two programs: Dark Skies Rangers and GLOBE at Night. Through the two programs, students learn about the importance of dark skies and experience activities that illustrate proper lighting, light pollution's effects on wildlife and how to measure the darkness of their skies. To disseminate the programs locally in an appropriate yet innovative venue, NOAO partnered with the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning in Tucson, Arizona. Operated by the largest school district in Tucson and the University of Arizona College of Education, the Cooper Center educates thousands of students and educators each year about ecology, science, and the beauty and wonders of the Sonoran Desert. During the first academic year (2009-2010), we achieved our goal of reaching nearly 20 teachers in 40 classrooms of 1000 students. We gave two 3-hour teacher-training sessions and provided nineteen 2.5-hour on-site evening sessions on dark skies activities for the students of the teachers trained. One outcome of the program was the contribution of 1000 "GLOBE at Night 2010” night-sky brightness measurements by Tucson students. Training sessions at similar levels are continuing this year. The partnership, planning, lesson learned, and outcomes of NOAO's collaboration with the environmental center will be presented.

  11. (an)isotropy of the X-ray sky

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shafer, R.A.; Fabian, A.C.

    1983-01-01

    An assessment is made of the extent to which the study of the isotropy of the X-ray sky has contributed to the present understanding of the structure of the universe at moderate redshifts. It is, of course, the anisotropic character of the sky flux that is valuable in this context. Although it is not currently possible to undertake measurements with the precision and small solid angles that are typically achieved in the microwave range, the comparatively crude limits from the X-ray fluctuations place limits on the largest scale structure of the universe. After indicating the nature of measurements made, with the HEAO 1 A-2 experiment, of the X-ray sky and its anisotropies, it is shown how these place limits on the origin of the X-ray sky and on any large scale structure of the universe. 40 references

  12. Fading Skies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sio, Betsy Menson

    2009-01-01

    A sky fading from blue to white to red at the horizon, and water darkening from light to midnight blue. Strong diagonals slashing through the image, drawing a viewer's eyes deeper into the picture, and delicate trees poised to convey a sense of beauty. These are the fascinating strengths of the ukiyo-e woodblock prints of Japanese artist Ando…

  13. Dark Skies Awareness Programs for the International Year of Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, C. E.; Pompea, S. M.

    2008-12-01

    The loss of a dark night sky as a natural resource is a growing concern. It impacts not only astronomical research, but also our environment in terms of ecology, health, safety, economics and energy conservation. For this reason, "Dark Skies are a Universal Resource" is a cornerstone project for the U.S. International Year of Astronomy (IYA) program in 2009. Its goal is to raise public awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on local environments by getting people involved in a variety of dark skies-related programs. These programs focus on citizen-scientist sky-brightness monitoring programs, a planetarium show, podcasting, social networking, a digital photography contest, the Good Neighbor Lighting Program, Earth Hour, National Dark Skies Week, a traveling exhibit, a video tutorial, Dark Skies Discovery Sites, Astronomy Nights in the (National) Parks, Sidewalk Astronomy, and a Quiet Skies program. Many similar programs are available internationally through the "Dark Skies Awareness" Global Cornerstone Project. Working groups for both the national and international dark skies cornerstone projects are being chaired by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). The presenters from NOAO will provide the "know-how" and the means for session participants to become community advocates in promoting Dark Skies programs as public events at their home institutions. Participants will be able to get information on jump-starting their education programs through the use of well-developed instructional materials and kits. For more information, visit http://astronomy2009.us/darkskies/ and http://www.darkskiesawareness.org/.

  14. Determination of the Thermal Offset of the Eppley Precision Spectral Pyranometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeffelin, Martial; Kato, Seiji; Smith, Amie M.; Rutledge, C. Ken; Charlock, Thomas P.; Mahan, J. Robert

    2001-01-01

    Eppley's precision spectral pyranometer (PSP) is used in networks around the world to measure downwelling diffuse and global solar irradiance at the surface of the Earth. In recent years several studies have shown significant discrepancy between irradiances measured by pyranometers and those computed by atmospheric radiative transfer models. Pyranometer measurements have been questioned because observed diffuse irradiances sometimes are below theoretical minimum values for a pure molecular atmosphere, and at night the instruments often produce nonzero signals ranging between + 5 and - 10 W/sq m. We install thermistor sondes in the body of a PSP as well as on its inner dome to monitor the temperature gradients within the instrument, and we operate a pyrgeometer (PIR) instrument side by side with the PSP. We derive a relationship between the PSP output and thermal radiative exchange by the dome and the detector and a relationship between the PSP output and the PIR thermopile output (net-IR). We determine the true PSP offset by quickly capping the instrument at set time intervals. For a ventilated and shaded PSP, the thermal offset can reach - 15 W/sq m under clear skies, whereas it remains close to zero for low overcast clouds. We estimate the PSP thermal offset by two methods: (1) using the PSP temperatures and (2) using the PIR net-IR signal. The offset computed from the PSP temperatures yields a reliable estimate of the true offset (+/- 1 W/sq m). The offset computed from net-IR is consistent with the true offset at night and under overcast skies but predicts only part of the true range under clear skies.

  15. Impact of three window configurations on daylight conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dubois, Marie-Claude; Sørensen, Karl Grau; Traberg-Borup, Steen

    The report describes the results of a pilot study on daylight conditions in simple rooms of residential buildings. As a tool for the analyses the Radiance Lighting Simulating System was used to simulate one room with three different window configurations, a vertical window, a dormer window......, and a roof window. The simulations were performed for overcast sky conditions and under one sunny sky, for two different times of the day. The study shows that the window configuration affects the daylight conditions (distribution and intensity) significantly. The roof window results in a higher (average......) daylight factor on a horizontal plane, i.e. more than twice as high compared with the vertical window, and more than triple as high compared with the dormer window....

  16. Inferences of all-sky solar irradiance using Terra and Aqua MODIS satellite data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Houborg, Rasmus Møller; Søgaard, Henrik; Emmerich, W.

    2007-01-01

    -sky solar irradiance components, which links a physically based clear-sky model with a neural network version of a rigorous radiative transfer model. The scheme exploits the improved cloud characterization and retrieval capabilities of the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard...... contrasting climates and cloud environments. Information on the atmospheric state was provided by MODIS data products and verifications against AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) data demonstrated usefulness of MODIS aerosol optical depth and total precipitable water vapour retrievals for the delineation...... and become unusable above approximately 60° latitude. However, in principle, the scheme can be applied anywhere on the globe, and a synergistic use of MODIS and geostationary satellite datasets may be envisaged for some applications....

  17. Derotation of the cosmic microwave background polarization: Full-sky formalism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gluscevic, Vera; Kamionkowski, Marc; Cooray, Asantha

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms have been proposed that might rotate the linear polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) as it propagates from the surface of last scatter. In the simplest scenario, the rotation will be uniform across the sky, but the rotation angle may also vary across the sky. We develop in detail the complete set of full-sky quadratic estimators for the rotation of the CMB polarization that can be constructed from the CMB temperature and polarization. We derive the variance with which these estimators can be measured and show that these variances reduce to the simpler flat-sky expressions in the appropriate limit. We evaluate the variances numerically. While the flat-sky formalism may be suitable if the rotation angle arises as a realization of a random field, the full-sky formalism will be required to search for rotations that vary slowly across the sky as well as for models in which the angular power spectrum for the rotation angle peaks at large angles.

  18. SkyNet: A Modular Nuclear Reaction Network Library

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippuner, Jonas; Roberts, Luke F.

    2017-12-01

    Almost all of the elements heavier than hydrogen that are present in our solar system were produced by nuclear burning processes either in the early universe or at some point in the life cycle of stars. In all of these environments, there are dozens to thousands of nuclear species that interact with each other to produce successively heavier elements. In this paper, we present SkyNet, a new general-purpose nuclear reaction network that evolves the abundances of nuclear species under the influence of nuclear reactions. SkyNet can be used to compute the nucleosynthesis evolution in all astrophysical scenarios where nucleosynthesis occurs. SkyNet is free and open source, and aims to be easy to use and flexible. Any list of isotopes can be evolved, and SkyNet supports different types of nuclear reactions. SkyNet is modular so that new or existing physics, like nuclear reactions or equations of state, can easily be added or modified. Here, we present in detail the physics implemented in SkyNet with a focus on a self-consistent transition to and from nuclear statistical equilibrium to non-equilibrium nuclear burning, our implementation of electron screening, and coupling of the network to an equation of state. We also present comprehensive code tests and comparisons with existing nuclear reaction networks. We find that SkyNet agrees with published results and other codes to an accuracy of a few percent. Discrepancies, where they exist, can be traced to differences in the physics implementations.

  19. STARS4ALL Night Sky Brightness Photometer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Zamorano

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We present the main features of TESS-W, the first version of a series of inexpensive but reliable photometers that will be used to measure night sky brightness. The bandpass is extended to the red with respect of that of the Sky Quality Meter (SQM. TESS-W connects to a router via WIFI and it sends automatically the brightness values to a data repository using Internet of Things protocols. The device includes an infrared sensor to estimate the cloud coverage. It is designed for fixed stations to monitor the evolution of the sky brightness. The photometer could also be used in local mode connected to a computer or tablet to gather data from a moving vehicle. The photometer is being developed within STARS4ALL project, a collective awareness platform for promoting dark skies in Europe, funded by the EU. We intend to extend the existing professional networks to a citizen-based network of photometers. 

  20. Weather and atmosphere observation with the ATOM all-sky camera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jankowsky Felix

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The Automatic Telescope for Optical Monitoring (ATOM for H.E.S.S. is an 75 cm optical telescope which operates fully automated. As there is no observer present during observation, an auxiliary all-sky camera serves as weather monitoring system. This device takes an all-sky image of the whole sky every three minutes. The gathered data then undergoes live-analysis by performing astrometric comparison with a theoretical night sky model, interpreting the absence of stars as cloud coverage. The sky monitor also serves as tool for a meteorological analysis of the observation site of the the upcoming Cherenkov Telescope Array. This overview covers design and benefits of the all-sky camera and additionally gives an introduction into current efforts to integrate the device into the atmosphere analysis programme of H.E.S.S.

  1. The pre-launch Planck Sky Model: a model of sky emission at submillimetre to centimetre wavelengths

    CERN Document Server

    Delabrouille, J.; Melin, J.-B.; Miville-Deschenes, M.-A.; Gonzalez-Nuevo, J.; Jeune, M.Le; Castex, G.; de Zotti, G.; Basak, S.; Ashdown, M.; Aumont, J.; Baccigalupi, C.; Banday, A.; Bernard, J.-P.; Bouchet, F.R.; Clements, D.L.; da Silva, A.; Dickinson, C.; Dodu, F.; Dolag, K.; Elsner, F.; Fauvet, L.; Fay, G.; Giardino, G.; Leach, S.; Lesgourgues, J.; Liguori, M.; Macias-Perez, J.F.; Massardi, M.; Matarrese, S.; Mazzotta, P.; Montier, L.; Mottet, S.; Paladini, R.; Partridge, B.; Piffaretti, R.; Prezeau, G.; Prunet, S.; Ricciardi, S.; Roman, M.; Schaefer, B.; Toffolatti, L.

    2012-01-01

    We present the Planck Sky Model (PSM), a parametric model for the generation of all-sky, few arcminute resolution maps of sky emission at submillimetre to centimetre wavelengths, in both intensity and polarisation. Several options are implemented to model the cosmic microwave background, Galactic diffuse emission (synchrotron, free-free, thermal and spinning dust, CO lines), Galactic H-II regions, extragalactic radio sources, dusty galaxies, and thermal and kinetic Sunyaev-Zeldovich signals from clusters of galaxies. Each component is simulated by means of educated interpolations/extrapolations of data sets available at the time of the launch of the Planck mission, complemented by state-of-the-art models of the emission. Distinctive features of the simulations are: spatially varying spectral properties of synchrotron and dust; different spectral parameters for each point source; modeling of the clustering properties of extragalactic sources and of the power spectrum of fluctuations in the cosmic infrared back...

  2. Design of a device for sky light polarization measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yujie; Hu, Xiaoping; Lian, Junxiang; Zhang, Lilian; Xian, Zhiwen; Ma, Tao

    2014-08-14

    Sky polarization patterns can be used both as indicators of atmospheric turbidity and as a sun compass for navigation. The objective of this study is to improve the precision of sky light polarization measurements by optimal design of the device used. The central part of the system is composed of a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera; a fish-eye lens and a linear polarizer. Algorithms for estimating parameters of the polarized light based on three images are derived and the optimal alignments of the polarizer are analyzed. The least-squares estimation is introduced for sky light polarization pattern measurement. The polarization patterns of sky light are obtained using the designed system and they follow almost the same patterns of the single-scattering Rayleigh model. Deviations of polarization angles between observation and the theory are analyzed. The largest deviations occur near the sun and anti-sun directions. Ninety percent of the deviations are less than 5° and 40% percent of them are less than 1°. The deviations decrease evidently as the degree of polarization increases. It also shows that the polarization pattern of the cloudy sky is almost identical as in the blue sky.

  3. Reconstructing the Sky Location of Gravitational-Wave Detected Compact Binary Systems: Methodology for Testing and Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidney, T.; Aylott, B.; Christensen, N.; Farr, B.; Farr, W.; Feroz, F.; Gair, J.; Grover, K.; Graff, P.; Hanna, C.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The problem of reconstructing the sky position of compact binary coalescences detected via gravitational waves is a central one for future observations with the ground-based network of gravitational-wave laser interferometers, such as Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. Different techniques for sky localization have been independently developed. They can be divided in two broad categories: fully coherent Bayesian techniques, which are high latency and aimed at in-depth studies of all the parameters of a source, including sky position, and "triangulation-based" techniques, which exploit the data products from the search stage of the analysis to provide an almost real-time approximation of the posterior probability density function of the sky location of a detection candidate. These techniques have previously been applied to data collected during the last science runs of gravitational-wave detectors operating in the so-called initial configuration. Here, we develop and analyze methods for assessing the self consistency of parameter estimation methods and carrying out fair comparisons between different algorithms, addressing issues of efficiency and optimality. These methods are general, and can be applied to parameter estimation problems other than sky localization. We apply these methods to two existing sky localization techniques representing the two above-mentioned categories, using a set of simulated inspiralonly signals from compact binary systems with a total mass of equal to or less than 20M solar mass and nonspinning components. We compare the relative advantages and costs of the two techniques and show that sky location uncertainties are on average a factor approx. equals 20 smaller for fully coherent techniques than for the specific variant of the triangulation-based technique used during the last science runs, at the expense of a factor approx. equals 1000 longer processing time.

  4. Modelling and Display of the Ultraviolet Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, J.; Henry, R.; Murthy, J.; Allen, M.; McGlynn, T. A.; Scollick, K.

    1994-12-01

    A computer program is currently under development to model in 3D - one dimension of which is wavelength - all the known and major speculated sources of ultraviolet (900 A - 3100 A ) radiation over the celestial sphere. The software is being written in Fortran 77 and IDL and currently operates under IRIX (the operating system of the Silicon Graphics Iris Machine); all output models are in FITS format. Models along with display software will become available to the astronomical community. The Ultraviolet Sky Model currently includes the Zodiacal Light, Point Sources of Emission, and the Diffuse Galactic Light. The Ultraviolet Sky Model is currently displayed using SkyView: a package under development at NASA/ GSFC, which allows users to retrieve and display publically available all-sky astronomical survey data (covering many wavebands) over the Internet. We present a demonstration of the SkyView display of the Ultraviolet Model. The modelling is a five year development project: the work illustrated here represents product output at the end of year one. Future work includes enhancements to the current models and incorporation of the following models: Galactic Molecular Hydrogen Fluorescence; Galactic Highly Ionized Atomic Line Emission; Integrated Extragalactic Light; and speculated sources in the intergalactic medium such as Ionized Plasma and radiation from Non-Baryonic Particle Decay. We also present a poster which summarizes the components of the Ultraviolet Sky Model and outlines a further package that will be used to display the Ultraviolet Model. This work is supported by United States Air Force Contract F19628-93-K-0004. Dr J. Daniels is supported with a post-doctoral Fellowship from the Leverhulme Foundation, London, United Kingdom. We are also grateful for the encouragement of Dr Stephen Price (Phillips Laboratory, Hanscomb Air Force Base, MA)

  5. Day/night whole sky imagers for 24-h cloud and sky assessment: history and overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Janet E; Karr, Monette E; Johnson, Richard W; Burden, Art R

    2013-03-10

    A family of fully automated digital whole sky imagers (WSIs) has been developed at the Marine Physical Laboratory over many years, for a variety of research and military applications. The most advanced of these, the day/night whole sky imagers (D/N WSIs), acquire digital imagery of the full sky down to the horizon under all conditions from full sunlight to starlight. Cloud algorithms process the imagery to automatically detect the locations of cloud for both day and night. The instruments can provide absolute radiance distribution over the full radiance range from starlight through daylight. The WSIs were fielded in 1984, followed by the D/N WSIs in 1992. These many years of experience and development have resulted in very capable instruments and algorithms that remain unique. This article discusses the history of the development of the D/N WSIs, system design, algorithms, and data products. The paper cites many reports with more detailed technical documentation. Further details of calibration, day and night algorithms, and cloud free line-of-sight results will be discussed in future articles.

  6. Stability of the nine sky quality meters in the Dutch night sky brightness monitoring network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Outer, Peter; Lolkema, Dorien; Haaima, Marty; van der Hoff, Rene; Spoelstra, Henk; Schmidt, Wim

    2015-04-22

    In the context of monitoring abundance of artificial light at night, the year-to-year stability of Sky Quality Meters (SQMs) is investigated by analysing intercalibrations derived from two measurement campaigns that were held in 2011 and 2012. An intercalibration comprises a light sensitivity factor and an offset for each SQM. The campaigns were concerned with monitoring measurements, each lasting one month. Nine SQMs, together forming the Night Sky Brightness Monitoring network (MHN) in The Netherlands, were involved in both campaigns. The stability of the intercalibration of these instruments leads to a year-to-year uncertainty (standard deviation) of 5% in the measured median luminance occurring at the MHN monitoring locations. For the 10-percentiles and 90-percentiles, we find 8% and 4%, respectively. This means that, for urban and industrial areas, changes in the sky brightness larger than 5% become detectable. Rural and nature areas require an 8%-9% change of the median luminance to be detectable. The light sensitivety agrees within 8% for the whole group of SQMs.

  7. Reflective all-sky thermal infrared cloud imager.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redman, Brian J; Shaw, Joseph A; Nugent, Paul W; Clark, R Trevor; Piazzolla, Sabino

    2018-04-30

    A reflective all-sky imaging system has been built using a long-wave infrared microbolometer camera and a reflective metal sphere. This compact system was developed for measuring spatial and temporal patterns of clouds and their optical depth in support of applications including Earth-space optical communications. The camera is mounted to the side of the reflective sphere to leave the zenith sky unobstructed. The resulting geometric distortion is removed through an angular map derived from a combination of checkerboard-target imaging, geometric ray tracing, and sun-location-based alignment. A tape of high-emissivity material on the side of the reflector acts as a reference that is used to estimate and remove thermal emission from the metal sphere. Once a bias that is under continuing study was removed, sky radiance measurements from the all-sky imager in the 8-14 μm wavelength range agreed to within 0.91 W/(m 2 sr) of measurements from a previously calibrated, lens-based infrared cloud imager over its 110° field of view.

  8. Tropical intercontinental optical measurement network of aerosol, precipitable water and total column ozone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holben, B. N.; Tanre, D.; Reagan, J. A.; Eck, T. F.; Setzer, A.; Kaufman, Y. A.; Vermote, E.; Vassiliou, G. D.; Lavenu, F.

    1992-01-01

    A new generation of automatic sunphotometers is used to systematically monitor clear sky total column aerosol concentration and optical properties, precipitable water and total column ozone diurnally and annually in West Africa and South America. The instruments are designed to measure direct beam sun, solar aureole and sky radiances in nine narrow spectral bands from the UV to the near infrared on an hourly basis. The instrumentation and the algorithms required to reduce the data for subsequent analysis are described.

  9. Spatial and Temporal Variabilities of Solar and Longwave Radiation Fluxes below a Coniferous Forest in the French Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sicart, J. E.; Ramseyer, V.; Lejeune, Y.; Essery, R.; Webster, C.; Rutter, N.

    2017-12-01

    At high altitudes and latitudes, snow has a large influence on hydrological processes. Large fractions of these regions are covered by forests, which have a strong influence on snow accumulation and melting processes. Trees absorb a large part of the incoming shortwave radiation and this heat load is mostly dissipated as longwave radiation. Trees shelter the snow surface from wind, so sub-canopy snowmelt depends mainly on the radiative fluxes: vegetation attenuates the transmission of shortwave radiation but enhances longwave irradiance to the surface. An array of 13 pyranometers and 11 pyrgeometers was deployed on the snow surface below a coniferous forest at the CEN-MeteoFrance Col de Porte station in the French Alps (1325 m asl) during the 2017 winter in order to investigate spatial and temporal variabilities of solar and infrared irradiances in different meteorological conditions. Sky view factors measured with hemispherical photographs at each radiometer location were in a narrow range from 0.2 to 0.3. The temperature of the vegetation was measured with IR thermocouples and an IR camera. In clear sky conditions, the attenuation of solar radiation by the canopy reached 96% and its spatial variability exceeded 100 W m-2. Longwave irradiance varied by 30 W m-2 from dense canopy to gap areas. In overcast conditions, the spatial variabilities of solar and infrared irradiances were reduced and remained closely related to the sky view factor. A simple radiative model taking into account the penetration through the canopy of the direct and diffuse solar radiation, and isotropic infrared emission of the vegetation as a blackbody emitter, accurately reproduced the dynamics of the radiation fluxes at the snow surface. Model results show that solar transmissivity of the canopy in overcast conditions is an excellent proxy of the sky view factor and the emitting temperature of the vegetation remained close to the air temperature in this typically dense Alpine forest.

  10. The Mythology of the Night Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkner, David E.

    The word "planet" comes from the Latin word planeta and the Greek word planes, which means "wanderer." When the ancient Greeks studied the night sky they noticed that most of the stars remained in the same position relative to all the other stars, but a few stars seem to move in the sky from day to day, week to week, and month to month. The Greeks called these rogue stars "wanderers" because they wandered through the starry background.

  11. The VLA Sky Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacy, Mark; VLASS Survey Team, VLASS Survey Science Group

    2018-01-01

    The VLA Sky Survey (VLASS), which began in September 2017, is a seven year project to image the entire sky north of Declination -40 degrees in three epochs. The survey is being carried out in I,Q and U polarization at a frequency of 2-4GHz, and a resolution of 2.5 arcseconds, with each epoch being separated by 32 months. Raw data from the survey, along with basic "quicklook" images are made freely available shortly after observation. Within a few months, NRAO will begin making available further basic data products, including refined images and source lists. In this talk I shall describe the science goals and methodology of the survey, the current survey status, and some early results, along with plans for collaborations with external groups to produce enhanced, high level data products.

  12. Teaching Astronomy Through Art: Under Southern Skies -- Aboriginal and Western Scientific Perspectives of the Australian Night Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewski, S. R.; Boles, M. S.; Patterson, R. J.

    1999-12-01

    We have created an exhibit, Under Southern Skies -- Aboriginal and Western Scientific Perspectives of the Australian Night Sky, which has shown since June, 1999 in newly refurbished exhibit space at the Leander McCormick Observatory. The University of Virginia has a long and continuing tradition of astrometry starting with early parallax work at the McCormick Observatory, extending to our own NSF CAREER Award-funded projects, and including a long-term, ongoing southern parallax program at Mt. Stromlo and Siding Springs Observatories in Australia. Recently, through a gift of Mr. John Kluge, the University of Virginia has obtained one of the most extensive collections of Australian Aboriginal art outside of Australia. The goal of our exhibit is to unite the University's scientific, artistic and cultural connections to Australia through an exhibit focusing on different perspectives of the Australian night sky. We have brought together Australian Aboriginal bark and canvas paintings that feature astronomical themes, e.g., Milky Way, Moon, Magellanic Cloud and Seven Sisters Dreamings, from the Kluge-Ruhe and private collections. These paintings, from the Central Desert and Arnhem Land regions of Australia, are intermingled with modern, large format, color astronomical images of the same scenes. Descriptive panels and a small gallery guide explain the cultural, artistic and scientific aspects of the various thematic groupings based on particular southern hemisphere night sky objects and associated Aboriginal traditions and stories. This unusual combination of art and science not only provides a unique avenue for educating the public about both astronomy and Australian Aboriginal culture, but highlights mankind's ancient and continuing connection to the night sky. We appreciate funding from NSF CAREER Award #AST-9702521, a Cottrell Scholar Award from The Research Corporation, and the Dept. of Astronomy and Ruhe-Kluge Collection at the University of Virginia.

  13. Optical Sky Brightness and Transparency during the Winter Season at Dome A Antarctica from the Gattini-All-Sky Camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yi; Moore, Anna M.; Krisciunas, Kevin; Wang, Lifan; Ashley, Michael C. B.; Fu, Jianning; Brown, Peter J.; Cui, Xiangqun; Feng, Long-Long; Gong, Xuefei; Hu, Zhongwen; Lawrence, Jon S.; Luong-Van, Daniel; Riddle, Reed L.; Shang, Zhaohui; Sims, Geoff; Storey, John W. V.; Suntzeff, Nicholas B.; Tothill, Nick; Travouillon, Tony; Yang, Huigen; Yang, Ji; Zhou, Xu; Zhu, Zhenxi

    2017-07-01

    The summit of the Antarctic plateau, Dome A, is proving to be an excellent site for optical, near-infrared, and terahertz astronomical observations. Gattini is a wide-field camera installed on the PLATO instrument module as part of the Chinese-led traverse to Dome A in 2009 January. We present here the measurements of sky brightness with the Gattini ultra-large field of view (90^\\circ × 90^\\circ ) in the photometric B-, V-, and R-bands; cloud cover statistics measured during the 2009 winter season; and an estimate of the sky transparency. A cumulative probability distribution indicates that the darkest 10% of the nights at Dome A have sky brightness of S B = 22.98, S V = 21.86, and S R = 21.68 mag arcsec-2. These values were obtained during the year 2009 with minimum aurora, and they are comparable to the faintest sky brightness at Maunakea and the best sites of northern Chile. Since every filter includes strong auroral lines that effectively contaminate the sky brightness measurements, for instruments working around the auroral lines, either with custom filters or with high spectral resolution instruments, these values could be easily obtained on a more routine basis. In addition, we present example light curves for bright targets to emphasize the unprecedented observational window function available from this ground-based site. These light curves will be published in a future paper.

  14. The depth of the honeybee's backup sun-compass systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovey, Katelyn M; Kemfort, Jordan R; Towne, William F

    2013-06-01

    Honeybees have at least three compass mechanisms: a magnetic compass; a celestial or sun compass, based on the daily rotation of the sun and sun-linked skylight patterns; and a backup celestial compass based on a memory of the sun's movements over time in relation to the landscape. The interactions of these compass systems have yet to be fully elucidated, but the celestial compass is primary in most contexts, the magnetic compass is a backup in certain contexts, and the bees' memory of the sun's course in relation to the landscape is a backup system for cloudy days. Here we ask whether bees have any further compass systems, for example a memory of the sun's movements over time in relation to the magnetic field. To test this, we challenged bees to locate the sun when their known celestial compass systems were unavailable, that is, under overcast skies in unfamiliar landscapes. We measured the bees' knowledge of the sun's location by observing their waggle dances, by which foragers indicate the directions toward food sources in relation to the sun's compass bearing. We found that bees have no celestial compass systems beyond those already known: under overcast skies in unfamiliar landscapes, bees attempt to use their landscape-based backup system to locate the sun, matching the landscapes or skylines at the test sites with those at their natal sites as best they can, even if the matches are poor and yield weak or inconsistent orientation.

  15. The night sky brightness at McDonald Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinowski, J. K.; Roosen, R. G.; Brandt, J. C.

    1975-01-01

    Baseline observations of the night sky brightness in B and V are presented for McDonald Observatory. In agreement with earlier work by Elvey and Rudnick (1937) and Elvey (1943), significant night-to-night and same-night variations in sky brightness are found. Possible causes for these variations are discussed. The largest variation in sky brightness found during a single night is approximately a factor of two, a value which corresponds to a factor-of-four variation in airglow brightness. The data are used to comment on the accuracy of previously published surface photometry of M 81.

  16. Mining the SDSS SkyServer SQL queries log

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirota, Vitor M.; Santos, Rafael; Raddick, Jordan; Thakar, Ani

    2016-05-01

    SkyServer, the Internet portal for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) astronomic catalog, provides a set of tools that allows data access for astronomers and scientific education. One of SkyServer data access interfaces allows users to enter ad-hoc SQL statements to query the catalog. SkyServer also presents some template queries that can be used as basis for more complex queries. This interface has logged over 330 million queries submitted since 2001. It is expected that analysis of this data can be used to investigate usage patterns, identify potential new classes of queries, find similar queries, etc. and to shed some light on how users interact with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data and how scientists have adopted the new paradigm of e-Science, which could in turn lead to enhancements on the user interfaces and experience in general. In this paper we review some approaches to SQL query mining, apply the traditional techniques used in the literature and present lessons learned, namely, that the general text mining approach for feature extraction and clustering does not seem to be adequate for this type of data, and, most importantly, we find that this type of analysis can result in very different queries being clustered together.

  17. The BlueSky Smoke Modeling Framework: Recent Developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, D. C.; Larkin, N.; Raffuse, S. M.; Strand, T.; ONeill, S. M.; Leung, F. T.; Qu, J. J.; Hao, X.

    2012-12-01

    BlueSky systems—a set of decision support tools including SmartFire and the BlueSky Framework—aid public policy decision makers and scientific researchers in evaluating the air quality impacts of fires. Smoke and fire managers use BlueSky systems in decisions about prescribed burns and wildland firefighting. Air quality agencies use BlueSky systems to support decisions related to air quality regulations. We will discuss a range of recent improvements to the BlueSky systems, as well as examples of applications and future plans. BlueSky systems have the flexibility to accept basic fire information from virtually any source and can reconcile multiple information sources so that duplication of fire records is eliminated. BlueSky systems currently apply information from (1) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hazard Mapping System (HMS), which represents remotely sensed data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES); (2) the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) interagency project, which derives fire perimeters from Landsat 30-meter burn scars; (3) the Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group (GeoMAC), which produces helicopter-flown burn perimeters; and (4) ground-based fire reports, such as the ICS-209 reports managed by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Efforts are currently underway to streamline the use of additional ground-based systems, such as states' prescribed burn databases. BlueSky systems were recently modified to address known uncertainties in smoke modeling associated with (1) estimates of biomass consumption derived from sparse fuel moisture data, and (2) models of plume injection heights. Additional sources of remotely sensed data are being applied to address these issues as follows: - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

  18. The sky blue method as a screening test to detect misplacement of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube at exchange.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Yutaka; Urashima, Mitsuyoshi; Yoshida, Hideki; Iwase, Tsuyoshi; Kura, Toshiroh; Imazato, Shin; Kudo, Michiaki; Ohta, Tomoyuki; Mizuhara, Akihiro; Tamamori, Yutaka; Muramatsu, Hirohito; Nishiguchi, Yukio; Nishiyama, Yorihiro; Takahashi, Mikako; Nishiwaki, Shinji; Matsumoto, Masami; Goshi, Satoshi; Sakamoto, Shigeo; Uchida, Nobuyuki; Ijima, Masashi; Ogawa, Tetsushi; Shimazaki, Makoto; Takei, Shinichi; Kimura, Chikou; Yamashita, Satoyoshi; Endo, Takao; Nakahori, Masato; Itoh, Akihiko; Kusakabe, Toshiro; Ishizuka, Izumi; Iiri, Takao; Fukasawa, Shingo; Arimoto, Yukitsugu; Kajitani, Nobuaki; Ishida, Kazuhiko; Onishi, Koji; Taira, Akihiko; Kobayashi, Makoto; Itano, Yasuto; Kobuke, Toshiya

    2009-01-01

    During tube exchange for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), a misplaced tube can cause peritonitis and death. Thus, endoscopic or radiologic observation is required at tube exchange to make sure the tube is placed correctly. However, these procedures cost extensive time and money to perform in all patients at the time of tube exchange. Therefore, we developed the "sky blue method" as a screening test to detect misplacement of the PEG tube during tube exchange. First, sky blue solution consisting of indigocarmine diluted with saline was injected into the gastric space via the old PEG tube just before the tube exchange. Next, the tube was exchanged using a standard method. Then, we checked whether the sky blue solution could be collected through the new tube or not. Finally, we confirmed correct placement of the tube by endoscopic or radiologic observation for all patients. A total of 961 patients were enrolled. Each tube exchange took 1 to 3 minutes, and there were no adverse effects. Four patients experienced a misplaced tube, all of which were detectable with the sky blue method. Diagnostic parameters of the sky blue method were as follows: sensitivity, 94% (95%CI: 92-95%); specificity, 100% (95%CI: 40-100%); positive predictive value, 100% (95%CI: 100-100%); negative predictive value, 6% (95%CI: 2-16%). These results suggest that the number of endoscopic or radiologic observations to confirm correct replacement of the PEG tube may be reduced to one fifteenth using the sky blue method.

  19. Citizen Sky, IYA 2009 and What's To Come

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Rebecca; Price, A.; Henden, A.

    2010-01-01

    Citizen Sky is a multi-year, NSF funded citizen science project involving the bright and mysterious variable star eps Aur. The project was conceived by the IYA 2009 working group on Research Experiences for Students, Teachers, and Citizen-Scientists. Citizen Sky is going beyond simple observing to include a major data analysis component. The goal is to introduce the participant to the full scientific process from background research to paper writing for a peer-reviewed journal. During IYA 2009 the Citizen Sky team was fully assembled, the website was developed and put online, and the first of two participant workshops was held. However, Citizen Sky does not stop or even slow down with the conclusion of IYA 2009. The project will continue to grow in the coming years. New participants are being recruited and trained as the observing phase of the project continues, a second participant workshop is planned for 2010, and the data analysis phase of the project will begin in earnest.

  20. The Rainbow Sky

    CERN Document Server

    Buick, Tony

    2010-01-01

    The world is full of color, from the blue ocean and the yellow daffodils and sunflowers in green carpeted meadows to the majestic purple mountains in the distance and brightly hued coral reefs off the edges of tropical coasts. But what is color, exactly? Why do we see things in different colors? Do we all see the same colors? Like the surface of our planet, the sky above us offers us an endless palette of color, a visual feast for the eyes. Besides atmospheric phenomena such as sunsets and rainbows, there are the many varied worlds of the Solar System, which we can spy through our telescopes, with their subtle colorings of beige and blue and green. Faraway star systems have suns that come in shades ranging from red and yellow to blue and white. Scientists even often use "false colors" to enhance the features of images they take of structures, such as the rings of Saturn and Jupiter’s clouds. This book, with its clear explanations of what makes the sky such a colorful place and in its great wealth of picture...

  1. The NexStar evolution and SkyPortal user's guide

    CERN Document Server

    Chen, James L

    2016-01-01

    This book serves as a comprehensive guide for using a Nexstar Evolution mount with WiFi SkyPortal control, walking the reader through the process for aligning and operating the system from a tablet or smartphone. The next generation Go-To mount from Celestron, this is compatible not only with the Nextstar Evolution but also with older mounts. It is the ideal resource for anyone who owns, or is thinking of owning, a Nexstar Evolution telescope, or adapting their existing Celestron mount. Pros and cons of the system are thoroughly covered with a critical depth that addresses any possible question by users. Beginning with a brief history of Go-To telescopes and the genesis of this still new technology, the author covers every aspect of the newly expanding capability in observing. This includes the associated Sky Portal smartphone and tablet application, the transition from the original Nexstar GoTo system to the new SkyPortal system, the use of the Sky Portal application with its Sky Safari 4 basic software and ...

  2. Automated exploitation of sky polarization imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadjadi, Firooz A; Chun, Cornell S L

    2018-03-10

    We propose an automated method for detecting neutral points in the sunlit sky. Until now, detecting these singularities has been done manually. Results are presented that document the application of this method on a limited number of polarimetric images of the sky captured with a camera and rotating polarizer. The results are significant because a method for automatically detecting the neutral points may aid in the determination of the solar position when the sun is obscured and may have applications in meteorology and pollution detection and characterization.

  3. Clear-Sky Narrowband Albedo Datasets Derived from Modis Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y.; Minnis, P.; Sun-Mack, S.; Arduini, R. F.; Hong, G.

    2013-12-01

    Satellite remote sensing of clouds requires an accurate estimate of the clear-sky radiances for a given scene to detect clouds and aerosols and to retrieve their microphysical properties. Knowing the spatial and angular variability of clear-sky albedo is essential for predicting the clear-sky radiance at solar wavelengths. The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Project uses the near-infrared (NIR; 1.24, 1.6 or 2.13 μm) and visible (VIS; 0.63 μm) channels available on the Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) to help identify clouds and retrieve their properties. Generally, clear-sky albedo for a given surface type is determined for conditions when the vegetation is either thriving or dormant and free of snow. The clear-sky albedos are derived using a radiative transfer parameterization of the impact of the atmosphere, including aerosols, on the observed reflectances. This paper presents the method of generating monthly clear-sky overhead albedo maps for both snow-free and snow-covered surfaces of these channels using one year of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) CERES products. Maps of 1.24 and 1.6 μm are being used as the background to help retrieve cloud properties (e.g., effective particle size, optical depth) in CERES cloud retrievals in both snow-free and snow-covered conditions.

  4. SNAP sky background at the north ecliptic pole

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aldering, Greg

    2002-01-01

    I summarize the extant direct and indirect data on the sky background SNAP will see at the North Ecliptic Pole over the wavelength range 0.4 < λ < 1.7 (micro)m. At the spatial resolution of SNAP the sky background due to stars and galaxies is resolved, so the only source considered is zodiacal light. Several models are explored to provide interpolation in wavelength between the broadband data from HST and COBE observations. I believe the input data are now established well enough that the accuracy of the sky background presented here is sufficient for SNAP simulations, and that it will stand up to scrutiny by reviewers

  5. A night sky model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erpylev, N. P.; Smirnov, M. A.; Bagrov, A. V.

    A night sky model is proposed. It includes different components of light polution, such as solar twilight, moon scattered light, zodiacal light, Milky Way, air glow and artificial light pollution. The model is designed for calculating the efficiency of astronomical installations.

  6. Sky Localization of Complete Inspiral-Merger-Ringdown Signals for Nonspinning Black Hole Binaries with LISA

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliams, Sean T.; Lang, Ryan N.; Baker, John G.; Thorpe, James Ira

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the capability of LISA to measure the sky position of equal-mass, nonspinning black hole binaries, including for the first time the entire inspiral-merger-ringdown signal, the effect of the LISA orbits, and the complete three-channel LISA response. For an ensemble of systems near the peak of LISA's sensitivity band, with total rest mass of 2 x l0(exp 6) Stellar Mass at a redshift of z = 1 with random orientations and sky positions, we find median sky localization errors of approximately approx. 3 arcminutes. This is comparable to the field of view of powerful electromagnetic telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope, that could be used to search for electromagnetic signals associated with merging black holes. We investigate the way in which parameter errors decrease with measurement time, focusing specifically on the additional information provided during the merger-ringdown segment of the signal. We find that this information improves all parameter estimates directly, rather than through diminishing correlations with any subset of well-determined parameters.

  7. Research on Extraction of Ship Target in Complex Sea-sky Background

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, W J; Ding, X M; Cui, J W; Ao, L

    2006-01-01

    Research on the extraction of ship target in complex sea-sky background has important value to improve the capability of imaging-typed sea navigation and nautical traffic control systems. According to the imaging property of complex sea-sky background, a reliable ship target extraction method is proposed in this paper. The general guide line is that getting the sea-sky division line as a priori knowledge and then the target potential area is determined through discontinuous region of the sea-sky division line. Firstly, a local selective window filter is adopted to filter the image; secondly, eight directions Sobel operator edge detection method and gradient Hough transform are combined to extract sea-sky division line in the image; then a multi-histogram matching technique is adopted to remove the sea and sky background and thus ship target is extracted from complex background. The experiments show that our method has the merits of robustness to noise, small computational complexity and stability

  8. Super-sample covariance approximations and partial sky coverage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacasa, Fabien; Lima, Marcos; Aguena, Michel

    2018-04-01

    Super-sample covariance (SSC) is the dominant source of statistical error on large scale structure (LSS) observables for both current and future galaxy surveys. In this work, we concentrate on the SSC of cluster counts, also known as sample variance, which is particularly useful for the self-calibration of the cluster observable-mass relation; our approach can similarly be applied to other observables, such as galaxy clustering and lensing shear. We first examined the accuracy of two analytical approximations proposed in the literature for the flat sky limit, finding that they are accurate at the 15% and 30-35% level, respectively, for covariances of counts in the same redshift bin. We then developed a harmonic expansion formalism that allows for the prediction of SSC in an arbitrary survey mask geometry, such as large sky areas of current and future surveys. We show analytically and numerically that this formalism recovers the full sky and flat sky limits present in the literature. We then present an efficient numerical implementation of the formalism, which allows fast and easy runs of covariance predictions when the survey mask is modified. We applied our method to a mask that is broadly similar to the Dark Energy Survey footprint, finding a non-negligible negative cross-z covariance, i.e. redshift bins are anti-correlated. We also examined the case of data removal from holes due to, for example bright stars, quality cuts, or systematic removals, and find that this does not have noticeable effects on the structure of the SSC matrix, only rescaling its amplitude by the effective survey area. These advances enable analytical covariances of LSS observables to be computed for current and future galaxy surveys, which cover large areas of the sky where the flat sky approximation fails.

  9. THE 22 MONTH SWIFT-BAT ALL-SKY HARD X-RAY SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tueller, J.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Markwardt, C. B.; Skinner, G. K.; Mushotzky, R. F.; Barthelmy, S.; Cummings, J.; Gehrels, N.; Holland, S.; Ajello, M.; Beardmore, A.; Evans, P.; Godet, O.; Brandt, W. N.; Burrows, D.; Grupe, D.; Chincarini, G.; Campana, S.; Cusumano, G.; Fenimore, E.

    2010-01-01

    We present the catalog of sources detected in the first 22 months of data from the hard X-ray survey (14-195 keV) conducted with the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) coded mask imager on the Swift satellite. The catalog contains 461 sources detected above the 4.8σ level with BAT. High angular resolution X-ray data for every source from Swift-XRT or archival data have allowed associations to be made with known counterparts in other wavelength bands for over 97% of the detections, including the discovery of ∼30 galaxies previously unknown as active galactic nuclei and several new Galactic sources. A total of 266 of the sources are associated with Seyfert galaxies (median redshift z ∼ 0.03) or blazars, with the majority of the remaining sources associated with X-ray binaries in our Galaxy. This ongoing survey is the first uniform all-sky hard X-ray survey since HEAO-1 in 1977. Since the publication of the nine-month BAT survey we have increased the number of energy channels from four to eight and have substantially increased the number of sources with accurate average spectra. The BAT 22 month catalog is the product of the most sensitive all-sky survey in the hard X-ray band, with a detection sensitivity (4.8σ) of 2.2 x 10 -11 erg cm -2 s -1 (1 mCrab) over most of the sky in the 14-195 keV band.

  10. eGSM: A extended Sky Model of Diffuse Radio Emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Doyeon; Liu, Adrian; Switzer, Eric

    2018-01-01

    Both cosmic microwave background and 21cm cosmology observations must contend with astrophysical foreground contaminants in the form of diffuse radio emission. For precise cosmological measurements, these foregrounds must be accurately modeled over the entire sky Ideally, such full-sky models ought to be primarily motivated by observations. Yet in practice, these observations are limited, with data sets that are observed not only in a heterogenous fashion, but also over limited frequency ranges. Previously, the Global Sky Model (GSM) took some steps towards solving the problem of incomplete observational data by interpolating over multi-frequency maps using principal component analysis (PCA).In this poster, we present an extended version of GSM (called eGSM) that includes the following improvements: 1) better zero-level calibration 2) incorporation of non-uniform survey resolutions and sky coverage 3) the ability to quantify uncertainties in sky models 4) the ability to optimally select spectral models using Bayesian Evidence techniques.

  11. Open Skies and monitoring a fissile materials cut-off treaty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allentuck, J.; Lemley, J.R.

    1995-01-01

    The Treaty on Open Skies (Open Skies) is intended among other things to provide, in the words of its preamble, means ''to facilitate the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control agreements.'' Open Skies permits overflights of the territory of member states by aircraft equipped with an array of sensors of various types. Their types and capabilities are treaty-limited. To find useful application in monitoring a cut-off treaty Open Skies would need to be amended. The number of signatories would need to be expanded so as to provide greater geographical coverage, and restrictions on sensor-array capabilities would need to be relaxed. To facilitate the detection of impending violations of a cut-off convention by Open Skies overflights, the data base provided by parties to the former should include among other things an enumeration of existing and former fuel cycle and research facilities including those converted to other uses, their precise geographic location, and a site plan

  12. Measuring and mapping the night sky brightness of Perth, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggs, James D.; Fouché, Tiffany; Bilki, Frank; Zadnik, Marjan G.

    2012-04-01

    In order to study the light pollution produced in the city of Perth, Western Australia, we have used a hand-held sky brightness meter to measure the night sky brightness across the city. The data acquired facilitated the creation of a contour map of night sky brightness across the 2400 km2 area of the city - the first such map to be produced for a city. Importantly, this map was created using a methodology borrowed from the field of geophysics - the well proven and rigorous techniques of geostatistical analysis and modelling. A major finding of this study is the effect of land use on night sky brightness. By overlaying the night sky brightness map on to a suitably processed Landsat satellite image of Perth we found that locations near commercial and/or light industrial areas have a brighter night sky, whereas locations used for agriculture or having high vegetation coverage have a fainter night sky than surrounding areas. Urban areas have intermediate amounts of vegetation and are intermediate in brightness compared with the above-mentioned land uses. Regions with a higher density of major highways also appear to contribute to increased night sky brightness. When corrected for the effects of direct illumination from high buildings, we found that the night sky brightness in the central business district (CBD) is very close to that expected for a city of Perth's population from modelling work and observations obtained in earlier studies. Given that our night sky brightness measurements in Perth over 2009 and 2010 are commensurate with that measured in Canadian cities over 30 years earlier implies that the various lighting systems employed in Perth (and probably most other cities) have not been optimised to minimize light pollution over that time. We also found that night sky brightness diminished with distance with an exponent of approximately -0.25 ± 0.02 from 3.5 to 10 km from the Perth CBD, a region characterized by urban and commercial land use. For distances

  13. NRAO Makes Available VLA Sky Survey Maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-06-01

    An original and comprehensive data set potentially full of scientific surprises now is available to astronomers, students and the public through the information superhighway. Radio images of the sky produced by the Very Large Array radio telescope -- one of the premier astronomical instruments in the world -- as part of a massive survey now are stored in an electronic repository avail- able over the Internet computer communications network. "Each of these sensitive new sky maps shows about a thou- sand radio-emitting objects, most of which have never been seen before," said Dr. J. J. Condon, leader of the National Radio As- tronomy Observatory (NRAO) survey team. "We are releasing them as soon as they are completed because they contain more data than we could possibly analyze by ourselves." "By using electronic distribution, we can open this tre- mendous resource of information for computer analysis by all as- tronomers immediately, without waiting for traditional publication," Condon added. The radio images are copyright NRAO/ AUI. Permission is granted for use of the material without charge for scholarly, educational and private non-commercial purposes. "It is entirely conceivable -- even probable -- that valuable discoveries will be made by students or amateur astrono- mers who devote the time to study these maps carefully," said team member Dr. W. D. Cotton. "Making this new information available electronically means that more people can participate in adding to its scientific value." The maps are a product of the NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS), which began its observational phase in September of 1993 and will cover 82 percent of the sky when completed by the end of 1996. The NVSS is expected to produce a catalog of more than two million ra- dio-emitting objects in the sky, and it is the first sky survey sensitive to linearly polarized emission from radio sources beyond our own Milky Way galaxy. "The NVSS is being made as a service to the entire astronomical

  14. Influence of cloud fraction and snow cover to the variation of surface UV radiation at King Sejong station, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yun Gon; Koo, Ja-Ho; Kim, Jhoon

    2015-10-01

    This study investigated how cloud fraction and snow cover affect the variation of surface ultraviolet (UV) radiation by using surface Erythemal UV (EUV) and Near UV (NUV) observed at the King Sejong Station, Antarctica. First the Radiative Amplification Factor (RAF), the relative change of surface EUV according to the total-column ozone amount, is compared for different cloud fractions and solar zenith angles (SZAs). Generally, all cloudy conditions show that the increase of RAF as SZA becomes larger, showing the larger effects of vertical columnar ozone. For given SZA cases, the EUV transmission through mean cloud layer gradually decreases as cloud fraction increases, but sometimes the maximum of surface EUV appears under partly cloudy conditions. The high surface EUV transmittance under broken cloud conditions seems due to the re-radiation of scattered EUV by cloud particles. NUV transmission through mean cloud layer also decreases as cloud amount increases but the sensitivity to the cloud fraction is larger than EUV. Both EUV and NUV radiations at the surface are also enhanced by the snow cover, and their enhancement becomes higher as SZA increases implying the diurnal variation of surface albedo. This effect of snow cover seems large under the overcast sky because of the stronger interaction between snow surface and cloudy sky.

  15. ESASky: All the sky you need

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Marchi, Guido; ESASky Team

    2018-06-01

    ESASky is a discovery portal giving to all astronomers, professional and amateur alike, an easy way to access high-quality scientific data from their computer, tablet, or mobile device. It includes over half a million images, 300,000 spectra, and more than a billion catalogue sources. From gamma rays to radio wavelengths, it allows users to explore the cosmos with data from a dozen space missions from the astronomical archives of ESA, NASA, and JAXA and does not require prior knowledge of any particular mission. ESASky features an all-sky exploration interface, letting users easily zoom in for stars as single targets or as part of a whole galaxy, visualise them and retrieve the relevant data taken in an area of the sky with just a few clicks. Users can easily compare observations of the same source obtained by different space missions at different times and wavelengths. They can also use ESASky to plan future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope, comparing the relevant portion of the sky as observed by Hubble and other missions. We will illustrate the many options to visualise and access astronomical data: interactive footprints for each instrument, tree-maps, filters, and solar-system object trajectories can all be combined and displayed. The most recent version of ESASky, released in February, also includes access to scientific publications, allowing users to visualise on the sky all astronomical objects with associated scientific publications and to link directly back to the papers in the NASA Astrophysics Data System.

  16. Predicting daylight illuminance on inclined surfaces using sky luminance data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, D.H.W.; Lau, C.C.S.; Lam, J.C. [City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon (China). Dept. of Building and Construction

    2005-07-01

    Daylight illuminance, particularly on vertical surfaces, plays a major role in determining and evaluating the daylighting performance of a building. In many parts of the world, however, the basic daylight illuminance data for various vertical planes are not always readily available. The usual method to obtain diffuse illuminance on tilted planes would be based on inclined surface models using data from the horizontal measurements. Alternatively, the diffuse illuminance on a sloping plane can be computed by integrating the luminance distribution of the sky 'seen' by the plane. This paper presents an approach to estimate the vertical outdoor illuminance from sky luminance data and solar geometry. Sky luminance data recorded from January 1999 to December 2001 in Hong Kong and generated by two well-known sky luminance models (Kittler and Perez) were used to compute the outdoor illuminance for the four principal vertical planes (N, E, S and W). The performance of this approach was evaluated against data measured in the same period. Statistical analysis indicated that using sky luminance distributions to predict outdoor illuminance can give reasonably good agreement with measured data for all vertical surfaces. The findings provide an accurate alternative to determine the amount of daylight on vertical as well as other inclined surfaces when sky luminance data are available. (author)

  17. Development of software for estimating clear sky solar radiation in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambarita, H.

    2017-01-01

    Research on solar energy applications in Indonesia has come under scrutiny in recent years. Solar radiation is harvested by solar collector or solar cell and convert the energy into useful energy such as heat and or electricity. In order to provide a better configuration of a solar collector or a solar cell, clear sky radiation should be estimated properly. In this study, an in-house software for estimating clear sky radiation is developed. The governing equations are solved simultaneously. The software is tested in Medan city by performing a solar radiation measurements. For clear sky radiation, the results of the software and measurements ones show a good agreement. However, for the cloudy sky condition it cannot predict the solar radiation. This software can be used to estimate the clear sky radiation in Indonesia.

  18. Tropical rainforest response to marine sky brightening climate engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muri, Helene; Niemeier, Ulrike; Kristjánsson, Jón Egill

    2015-04-01

    Tropical forests represent a major atmospheric carbon dioxide sink. Here the gross primary productivity (GPP) response of tropical rainforests to climate engineering via marine sky brightening under a future scenario is investigated in three Earth system models. The model response is diverse, and in two of the three models, the tropical GPP shows a decrease from the marine sky brightening climate engineering. Partial correlation analysis indicates precipitation to be important in one of those models, while precipitation and temperature are limiting factors in the other. One model experiences a reversal of its Amazon dieback under marine sky brightening. There, the strongest partial correlation of GPP is to temperature and incoming solar radiation at the surface. Carbon fertilization provides a higher future tropical rainforest GPP overall, both with and without climate engineering. Salt damage to plants and soils could be an important aspect of marine sky brightening.

  19. The observer's sky atlas

    CERN Document Server

    Karkoschka, E

    2007-01-01

    This title includes a short introduction to observing, a thorough description of the star charts and tables, a glossary and much more. It is perfect for both the beginner and seasoned observer. It is fully revised edition of a best-selling and highly-praised sky atlas.

  20. Sun, Earth and Sky

    CERN Document Server

    Lang, Kenneth R

    2006-01-01

    This Second Edition of Sun, Earth and Sky updates the popular text by providing comprehensive accounts of the most recent discoveries made by five modern solar spacecraft during the past decade. Their instruments have used sound waves to peer deep into the Sun’s inner regions and measure the temperature of its central nuclear reactor, and extended our gaze far from the visible Sun to record energetic outbursts that threaten Earth. Breakthrough observations with the underground Sudbury Neutrino Observatory are also included, which explain the new physics of ghostly neutrinos and solve the problematic mismatch between the predicted and observed amounts of solar neutrinos. This new edition of Sun, Earth and Sky also describes our recent understanding of how the Sun’s outer atmosphere is heated to a million degrees, and just where the Sun’s continuous winds come from. As humans we are more intimately linked with our life-sustaining Sun than with any other astronomical object, and the new edition therefore p...

  1. NIGHT SKY BRIGHTNESS ABOVE ZAGREB 2012.-2017.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Željko Andreić

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The night sky brightness at the RGN site (near the centre of Zagreb, Croatia was monitored form January 2012. to December 2017. The gathered data show that the average night sky brightness in this period did not change significantly, apart from differences caused by yearly variations in meteorological parameters. The nightly minima, maxima and mean values of the sky brightness do change considerably due to changes in meteorological conditions, often being between 2 and 3 magnitudes. The seasonal probability curves and histograms are constructed and are used to obtain additional information on the light pollution at the RGN site. They reveal that the night sky brightness clutters around two peaks, at about 15.0 mag/arcsec2 and at about 18.2 mag/arcsec2. The tendency to slightly lower brightness values in spring and summer can also be seen in the data. Two peaks correspond to cloudy and clear nights respectively, the difference in brightness between them being about 3 magnitudes. A crude clear/cloudy criterion can be defined too: the minimum between two peaks is around 16.7 mag/arcsec2. The brightness values smaller than thisare attributed to clear nights and vice-versa. Comparison with Vienna and Hong-Kong indicates that the light pollution of Zagreb is a few times larger.

  2. Introduction to the Arizona Sky Island Arthropod Project (ASAP): Systematics, biogeography, ecology, and population genetics of arthropods of the Madrean Sky Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendy Moore; Wallace M. Meyer; Jeffrey A. Eble; Kimberly Franklin; John F. Wiens; Richard C. Brusca

    2013-01-01

    The Arizona Sky Island Arthropod Project (ASAP) is a new multi-disciplinary research program at the University of Arizona that combines systematics, biogeography, ecology, and population genetics to study origins and patterns of arthropod diversity along elevation gradients and among mountain ranges in the Madrean Sky Island Region. Arthropods represent taxonomically...

  3. Sky shine of proton synchrotron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katoh, Kazuaki; Hirayama, Hideo

    1978-01-01

    This report represents present status of the study on sky shine and the results made at KEK. At present, data at various facilities can be analyzed by the formula presented by R.H. Thomas. Measurement of sky shine at KEK has been carried out since August, 1977. The neutron level around the accelerator, spatial distribution, energy spectra and the intensities at far distant places were measured. The radiation level at the surface of shield of the accelerator is less than 0.8 mrem/h. Therefore, high sensitive detectors are required to measure the neutron at the far distant places. A 2 inch diameter BF 3 detector with polyethylene moderator and a 5.8 inch diameter BF 3 detector with same moderator were used for the measurement. Conversion from the obtained counting rate to the dose rate was made by using the conversion coefficient for fission neutrons of Cf-252. The dose rate distributions at the shielding surface of the main ring of the accelerator and the counter experiment hall were measured. At the main ring, the dose rate was less than 0.16 mrem/h, and at the counter hall the maximum dose rate was 5 mrem/h. The distance dependence of the sky shine level was measured, and the effective attenuation distance was 1300 m. The result can be expressed by the formula by Thomas. (Kato, T.)

  4. Dark Skies Awareness Programs for the U.S. International Year of Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.; U. S. IYA Dark Skies Working Group

    2009-01-01

    The loss of a dark night sky as a natural resource is a growing concern. It impacts not only astronomical research, but also our ecology, health, safety, economics and energy conservation. For this reason, "Dark Skies are a Universal Resource” is one of seven primary themes of the U.S. International Year of Astronomy program in 2009. Its goal is to raise public awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on local environments by getting people involved in a variety of dark skies-related programs. To reach this goal, activities have been developed that: 1) Teach about dark skies using new technology (e.g., an activity-based planetarium show on DVD, podcasting, social networking, Second Life) 2) Provide thematic events on light pollution at star parties and observatory open houses (Dark Skies Discovery Sites, Astronomy Nights in the (National) Parks, Sidewalk Astronomy Nights) 3) Organize an event in the arts (e.g., a photography contest) 4) Involve citizen-scientists in unaided-eye and digital-meter star counting programs, as well as RFI monitoring (e.g., GLOBE at Night and Quiet Skies) and 5) Raise awareness about the link between light pollution and public health, economic issues, ecological consequences, energy conservation, safety and security (e.g., the Dark Skies Toolkit, Good Neighbor Lighting, Earth Hour, National Dark Skies Week, traveling exhibits and a 6-minute video tutorial). To deliver these programs, strategic networks have been established with astronomy clubs (ASP's Night Sky Network's astronomy clubs and the Astronomical League), science and nature centers (Astronomy from the Ground Up and the Association of Science and Technology), educational programs (Project ASTRO and GLOBE) and the International Dark-sky Association. The poster will describe the "know-how” and the means for people to become community advocates in promoting Dark Skies programs as public events at their home institutions. For more information, visit http://astronomy2009

  5. Tropospheric haze and colors of the clear twilight sky.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Raymond L; Mollner, Duncan C

    2017-07-01

    At the earth's surface, clear-sky colors during civil twilights depend on the combined spectral effects of molecular scattering, extinction by tropospheric aerosols, and absorption by ozone. Molecular scattering alone cannot produce the most vivid twilight colors near the solar horizon, for which aerosol scattering and absorption are also required. However, less well known are haze aerosols' effects on twilight sky colors at larger scattering angles, including near the antisolar horizon. To analyze this range of colors, we compare 3D Monte Carlo simulations of skylight spectra with hyperspectral measurements of clear twilight skies over a wide range of aerosol optical depths. Our combined measurements and simulations indicate that (a) the purest antisolar twilight colors would occur in a purely molecular, multiple-scattering atmosphere, whereas (b) the most vivid solar-sky colors require at least some turbidity. Taken together, these results suggest that multiple scattering plays an important role in determining the redness of the antitwilight arch.

  6. The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falchi, Fabio; Cinzano, Pierantonio; Duriscoe, Dan; Kyba, Christopher C M; Elvidge, Christopher D; Baugh, Kimberly; Portnov, Boris A; Rybnikova, Nataliya A; Furgoni, Riccardo

    2016-06-01

    Artificial lights raise night sky luminance, creating the most visible effect of light pollution-artificial skyglow. Despite the increasing interest among scientists in fields such as ecology, astronomy, health care, and land-use planning, light pollution lacks a current quantification of its magnitude on a global scale. To overcome this, we present the world atlas of artificial sky luminance, computed with our light pollution propagation software using new high-resolution satellite data and new precision sky brightness measurements. This atlas shows that more than 80% of the world and more than 99% of the U.S. and European populations live under light-polluted skies. The Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity, including 60% of Europeans and nearly 80% of North Americans. Moreover, 23% of the world's land surfaces between 75°N and 60°S, 88% of Europe, and almost half of the United States experience light-polluted nights.

  7. Using All-Sky Imaging to Improve Telescope Scheduling (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, G. M.

    2017-12-01

    (Abstract only) Automated scheduling makes it possible for a small telescope to observe a large number of targets in a single night. But when used in areas which have less-than-perfect sky conditions such automation can lead to large numbers of observations of clouds and haze. This paper describes the development of a "sky-aware" telescope automation system that integrates the data flow from an SBIG AllSky340c camera with an enhanced dispatch scheduler to make optimum use of the available observing conditions for two highly instrumented backyard telescopes. Using the minute-by-minute time series image stream and a self-maintained reference database, the software maintains a file of sky brightness, transparency, stability, and forecasted visibility at several hundred grid positions. The scheduling software uses this information in real time to exclude targets obscured by clouds and select the best observing task, taking into account the requirements and limits of each instrument.

  8. Explicit validation of a surface shortwave radiation balance model over snow-covered complex terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbig, N.; Löwe, H.; Mayer, B.; Lehning, M.

    2010-09-01

    A model that computes the surface radiation balance for all sky conditions in complex terrain is presented. The spatial distribution of direct and diffuse sky radiation is determined from observations of incident global radiation, air temperature, and relative humidity at a single measurement location. Incident radiation under cloudless sky is spatially derived from a parameterization of the atmospheric transmittance. Direct and diffuse sky radiation for all sky conditions are obtained by decomposing the measured global radiation value. Spatial incident radiation values under all atmospheric conditions are computed by adjusting the spatial radiation values obtained from the parametric model with the radiation components obtained from the decomposition model at the measurement site. Topographic influences such as shading are accounted for. The radiosity approach is used to compute anisotropic terrain reflected radiation. Validations of the shortwave radiation balance model are presented in detail for a day with cloudless sky. For a day with overcast sky a first validation is presented. Validation of a section of the horizon line as well as of individual radiation components is performed with high-quality measurements. A new measurement setup was designed to determine terrain reflected radiation. There is good agreement between the measurements and the modeled terrain reflected radiation values as well as with incident radiation values. A comparison of the model with a fully three-dimensional radiative transfer Monte Carlo model is presented. That validation reveals a good agreement between modeled radiation values.

  9. Secrets to Successful Earth and Sky Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tafreshi, Babak A.

    In the absolute silence of a desert night, surrounded by an arena of celestial beauties, a gentle breeze shifts the tiny grains of sand around me. There is a patchy glow of light visible all across the eastern horizon. It is gradually ascending over the sand dunes. The glow represents billions of stars in our home galaxy rising above the horizon of our planet. I have seen such dream-like starry scenes from many locations; from the boundless dark skies of the African Sahara when the summer Milky Way was arching over giant sandstones, to the shimmering beauty of the Grand Canyon under moonlight, and the transparent skies of the Himalayas when the bright stars of winter were rising above where the highest peak on Earth (Mt. Everest) meets the sky. These are forever-engraved moments in my memory. Astrophotography is not only about recording the celestial world. It can lead you to a life of adventure and discovery (Fig. 1).

  10. A New Sky Brightness Monitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, David L.; McKenna, D.

    2006-12-01

    A good estimate of sky brightness and its variations throughout the night, the months, and even the years is an essential bit of knowledge both for good observing and especially as a tool in efforts to minimize sky brightness through local action. Hence a stable and accurate monitor can be a valuable and necessary tool. We have developed such a monitor, with the financial help of Vatican Observatory and Walker Management. The device is now undergoing its Beta test in preparation for production. It is simple, accurate, well calibrated, and automatic, sending its data directly to IDA over the internet via E-mail . Approximately 50 such monitors will be ready soon for deployment worldwide including most major observatories. Those interested in having one should enquire of IDA about details.

  11. Gaia, an all-sky survey for standard photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, J. M.; Weiler, M.; Jordi, C.; Fabricius, C.

    2017-03-01

    Gaia ESA's space mission (launched in 2013) includes two low resolution spectroscopic instruments (one in the blue, BP, and another in the red, RP, wavelength domains) to classify and derive the astrophysical parameters of the observed sources. As it is well known, Gaia is a full-sky unbiased survey down to about 20th magnitude. The scanning law yields a rather uniform coverage of the sky over the full extent (a minimum of 5 years) of the mission. Gaia data reduction is a global one over the full mission. Both sky coverage and data reduction strategy ensure an unprecedented all-sky homogeneous spectrophotometric survey. Certainly, that survey is of interest for current and future on-ground and space projects, like LSST, PLATO, EUCLID and J-PAS/J-PLUS among others. These projects will benefit from the large amount (more than one billion) and wide variety of objects observed by Gaia with good quality spectrophotometry. Synthetic photometry derived from Gaia spectrophotometry for any passband can be used to expand the set of standard sources for these new instruments to come. In the current Gaia data release scenario, BP/RP spectrophotometric data will be available in the third release (in 2018, TBC). Current preliminary results allow us to estimate the precision of synthetic photometry derived from the Gaia data. This already allows the preparation of the on-going and future surveys and space missions. We discuss here the exploitation of the Gaia spectrophotometry as standard reference due to its full-sky coverage and its expected photometric uncertainties derived from the low resolution Gaia spectra.

  12. Artificial light alters natural regimes of night-time sky brightness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Thomas W.; Bennie, Jonathan; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2013-01-01

    Artificial light is globally one of the most widely distributed forms of anthropogenic pollution. However, while both the nature and ecological effects of direct artificial lighting are increasingly well documented, those of artificial sky glow have received little attention. We investigated how city lights alter natural regimes of lunar sky brightness using a novel ten month time series of measurements recorded across a gradient of increasing light pollution. In the city, artificial lights increased sky brightness to levels six times above those recorded in rural locations, nine and twenty kilometers away. Artificial lighting masked natural monthly and seasonal regimes of lunar sky brightness in the city, and increased the number and annual regime of full moon equivalent hours available to organisms during the night. The changes have potentially profound ecological consequences.

  13. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Northern Sky Variability Survey (Wozniak+, 2004)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, P. R.; Vestrand, W. T.; Akerlof, C. W.; Balsano, R.; Bloch, J.; Casperson, D.; Fletcher, S.; Gisler, G.; Kehoe, R.; Kinemuchi, K.; Lee, B. C.; Marshall, S.; McGowan, K. E.; McKay, T. A.; Rykoff, E. S.; Smith, D. A.; Szymanski, J.; Wren, J.

    2004-11-01

    The Northern Sky Variability Survey (NSVS) is a temporal record of the sky over the optical magnitude range from 8 to 15.5. It was conducted in the course of the first-generation Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (ROTSE-I) using a robotic system of four comounted unfiltered telephoto lenses equipped with CCD cameras. The survey was conducted from Los Alamos, New Mexico, and primarily covers the entire northern sky. Some data in southern fields between declinations 0{deg} and -38{deg} are also available, although with fewer epochs and noticeably lesser quality. The NSVS contains light curves for approximately 14 million objects. With a 1-yr baseline and typically 100-500 measurements per object, the NSVS is the most extensive record of stellar variability across the bright sky available today. In a median field, bright unsaturated stars attain a point-to-point photometric scatter of ~0.02mag and position errors within 2. At Galactic latitudes |b|public access from the Sky Database for Objects in Time-Domain (SkyDOT) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Copies of the full survey photometry may also be requested on tape. (7 data files).

  14. Cloud Coverage Acts as an Amplifier for Ecological Light Pollution in Urban Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyba, Christopher C. M.; Ruhtz, Thomas; Fischer, Jürgen; Hölker, Franz

    2011-01-01

    The diurnal cycle of light and dark is one of the strongest environmental factors for life on Earth. Many species in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems use the level of ambient light to regulate their metabolism, growth, and behavior. The sky glow caused by artificial lighting from urban areas disrupts this natural cycle, and has been shown to impact the behavior of organisms, even many kilometers away from the light sources. It could be hypothesized that factors that increase the luminance of the sky amplify the degree of this “ecological light pollution”. We show that cloud coverage dramatically amplifies the sky luminance, by a factor of 10.1 for one location inside of Berlin and by a factor of 2.8 at 32 km from the city center. We also show that inside of the city overcast nights are brighter than clear rural moonlit nights, by a factor of 4.1. These results have important implications for choronobiological and chronoecological studies in urban areas, where this amplification effect has previously not been considered. PMID:21399694

  15. Cloud coverage acts as an amplifier for ecological light pollution in urban ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyba, Christopher C M; Ruhtz, Thomas; Fischer, Jürgen; Hölker, Franz

    2011-03-02

    The diurnal cycle of light and dark is one of the strongest environmental factors for life on Earth. Many species in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems use the level of ambient light to regulate their metabolism, growth, and behavior. The sky glow caused by artificial lighting from urban areas disrupts this natural cycle, and has been shown to impact the behavior of organisms, even many kilometers away from the light sources. It could be hypothesized that factors that increase the luminance of the sky amplify the degree of this "ecological light pollution". We show that cloud coverage dramatically amplifies the sky luminance, by a factor of 10.1 for one location inside of Berlin and by a factor of 2.8 at 32 km from the city center. We also show that inside of the city overcast nights are brighter than clear rural moonlit nights, by a factor of 4.1. These results have important implications for choronobiological and chronoecological studies in urban areas, where this amplification effect has previously not been considered.

  16. SKY BRIGHTNESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN THE i-BAND AT DOME A, ANTARCTICA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zou Hu; Zhou Xu; Jiang Zhaoji; Hu Jingyao; Ma Jun; Ashley, M. C. B.; Luong-Van, D. M.; Storey, J. W. V.; Cui Xiangqun; Feng Longlong; Gong Xuefei; Kulesa, C. A.; Lawrence, J. S.; Liu Genrong; Moore, A. M.; Pennypacker, C. R.; Travouillon, T.; Qin Weijia; Sun Bo; Shang Zhaohui

    2010-01-01

    The i-band observing conditions at Dome A on the Antarctic plateau have been investigated using data acquired during 2008 with the Chinese Small Telescope Array. The sky brightness, variations in atmospheric transparency, cloud cover, and the presence of aurorae are obtained from these images. The median sky brightness of moonless clear nights is 20.5 mag arcsec -2 in the SDSS i band at the south celestial pole (which includes a contribution of about 0.06 mag from diffuse Galactic light). The median over all Moon phases in the Antarctic winter is about 19.8 mag arcsec -2 . There were no thick clouds in 2008. We model contributions of the Sun and the Moon to the sky background to obtain the relationship between the sky brightness and transparency. Aurorae are identified by comparing the observed sky brightness to the sky brightness expected from this model. About 2% of the images are affected by relatively strong aurorae.

  17. Pi of the Sky Telescopes in Spain and Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Siudek

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Pi of the Sky is a system of robotic telescopes designed for observations of short timescale astrophysical phenomena, e.g. prompt optical GRB emissions. The apparatus is designed to monitor a large fraction of the sky with 12–13 m range and time resolution of the order of 1–10 seconds. In October 2010 the first unit of the new Pi of the Sky detector system was successfully installed in the INTA El Arenosillo Test Centre in Spain. We also moved our prototype detector from Las Campanas Observatory to San Pedro de Atacama Observatory in March 2011. The status and performance of both detectors is presented.

  18. Deep-Sky Video Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Massey, Steve

    2009-01-01

    A guide to using modern integrating video cameras for deep-sky viewing and imaging with the kinds of modest telescopes available commercially to amateur astronomers. It includes an introduction and a brief history of the technology and camera types. It examines the pros and cons of this unrefrigerated yet highly efficient technology

  19. 76 FR 42704 - Sky River LLC; Notice of Filing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. ER11-3277-000; ER11-3277-001] Sky River LLC; Notice of Filing Take notice that, on July 8, 2011, Sky River LLC filed to amend its Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) filing, submitted on April 1, 2011 and amended on April 7...

  20. Gender Roles and Night-Sky Watching among College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, William E.; McGee, Catherine M.

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigated the relationship between gender roles and night-sky watching in a sample of college students (N=161). The Bem Sex-Role Inventory (BSRI) and the Noctcaelador Inventory (NI) were used to investigate the differences between gender role groups for night-sky watching. The results supported the hypothesis that androgynous…

  1. The Big Sky inside

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Earle; Ward, Tony J.; Vanek, Diana; Marra, Nancy; Hester, Carolyn; Knuth, Randy; Spangler, Todd; Jones, David; Henthorn, Melissa; Hammill, Brock; Smith, Paul; Salisbury, Rob; Reckin, Gene; Boulafentis, Johna

    2009-01-01

    The University of Montana (UM)-Missoula has implemented a problem-based program in which students perform scientific research focused on indoor air pollution. The Air Toxics Under the Big Sky program (Jones et al. 2007; Adams et al. 2008; Ward et al. 2008) provides a community-based framework for understanding the complex relationship between poor…

  2. AMSR2 all-sky radiance assimilation and its impact on the analysis and forecast of Hurricane Sandy with a limited-area data assimilation system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun Yang

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A method to assimilate all-sky radiances from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2 was developed within the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model's data assimilation (WRFDA system. The four essential elements are: (1 extending the community radiative transform model's (CRTM interface to include hydrometeor profiles; (2 using total water Qt as the moisture control variable; (3 using a warm-rain physics scheme for partitioning the Qt increment into individual increments of water vapour, cloud liquid water and rain; and (4 adopting a symmetric observation error model for all-sky radiance assimilation.Compared to a benchmark experiment with no AMSR2 data, the impact of assimilating clear-sky or all-sky AMSR2 radiances on the analysis and forecast of Hurricane Sandy (2012 was assessed through analysis/forecast cycling experiments using WRF and WRFDA's three-dimensional variational (3DVAR data assimilation scheme. With more cloud/precipitation-affected data being assimilated around tropical cyclone (TC core areas in the all-sky AMSR2 assimilation experiment, better analyses were obtained in terms of the TC's central sea level pressure (CSLP, warm-core structure and cloud distribution. Substantial (>20 % error reduction in track and CSLP forecasts was achieved from both clear-sky and all-sky AMSR2 assimilation experiments, and this improvement was consistent from the analysis time to 72-h forecasts. Moreover, the all-sky assimilation experiment consistently yielded better track and CSLP forecasts than the clear-sky did for all forecast lead times, due to a better analysis in the TC core areas. Positive forecast impact from assimilating AMSR2 radiances is also seen when verified against the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF analysis and the Stage IV precipitation analysis, with an overall larger positive impact from the all-sky assimilation experiment.

  3. Gods, Demons and Deceivers: Jesuits Facing Chaco Skies

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Alejandro Martín

    2015-05-01

    The Jesuit missions located in the Chaco are less known than the ones in Paraguay. They are the last step of the Jesuits' missionary device in the Rio de la Plata region. They were dedicated to 'evangelize' and 'civilize' the aboriginal groups considered more hostile: nomadic hunter-gatherers who adopted the use of horses and were not controlled by the colonial government. These groups were seen by Europeans as a radical otherness. That is why the Jesuits' descriptions of Chaco Indian skies are a very interesting example about European attitudes toward other worldviews. This paper explores the use of different paradigms for interpreting these alternative skies: demonic influence, the deception of sorcerers and an Evemeristic reading of the indigenous worldview. This article also addresses some of the interactions between the aboriginal and Christian skies in the mission context.

  4. SkyMapper Southern Survey: First Data Release (DR1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christian; Onken, Christopher A.; Luvaul, Lance C.; Schmidt, Brian P.; Bessell, Michael S.; Chang, Seo-Won; Da Costa, Gary S.; Mackey, Dougal; Martin-Jones, Tony; Murphy, Simon J.; Preston, Tim; Scalzo, Richard A.; Shao, Li; Smillie, Jon; Tisserand, Patrick; White, Marc C.; Yuan, Fang

    2018-02-01

    We present the first data release of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Here, we present the survey strategy, data processing, catalogue construction, and database schema. The first data release dataset includes over 66 000 images from the Shallow Survey component, covering an area of 17 200 deg2 in all six SkyMapper passbands uvgriz, while the full area covered by any passband exceeds 20 000 deg2. The catalogues contain over 285 million unique astrophysical objects, complete to roughly 18 mag in all bands. We compare our griz point-source photometry with Pan-STARRS1 first data release and note an RMS scatter of 2%. The internal reproducibility of SkyMapper photometry is on the order of 1%. Astrometric precision is better than 0.2 arcsec based on comparison with Gaia first data release. We describe the end-user database, through which data are presented to the world community, and provide some illustrative science queries.

  5. Proof of Concept for a Simple Smartphone Sky Monitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantamneni, Abhilash; Nemiroff, R. J.; Brisbois, C.

    2013-01-01

    We present a novel approach of obtaining a cloud and bright sky monitor by using a standard smartphone with a downloadable app. The addition of an inexpensive fisheye lens can extend the angular range to the entire sky visible above the device. A preliminary proof of concept image shows an optical limit of about visual magnitude 5 for a 70-second exposure. Support science objectives include cloud monitoring in a manner similar to the more expensive cloud monitors in use at most major astronomical observatories, making expensive observing time at these observatories more efficient. Primary science objectives include bright meteor tracking, bright comet tracking, and monitoring the variability of bright stars. Citizen science objectives include crowd sourcing of many networked sky monitoring smartphones typically in broader support of many of the primary science goals. The deployment of a citizen smartphone array in an active science mode could leverage the sky monitoring data infrastructure to track other non-visual science opportunities, including monitoring the Earth's magnetic field for the effects of solar flares and exhaustive surface coverage for strong seismic events.

  6. Dark Sky Collaborators: Arizona (AZ) Observatories, Communities, and Businesses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Castillo, Elizabeth Alvarez; Corbally, Christopher; Falco, Emilio E.; Green, Richard F.; Hall, Jeffrey C.; Williams, G. Grant

    2015-03-01

    With outdoor lighting ordinances in Arizona first in place around observatories in 1958 and 1972, then throughout the state since 1986, Arizonans have extensive experience working with communities and businesses to preserve our dark skies. Though communities are committed to the astronomy sector in our state, astronomers must collaborate with other stakeholders to implement solutions. Ongoing education and public outreach is necessary to enable ordinance updates as technology changes. Despite significant population increases, sky brightness measurements over the last 20 years show that ordinance updates are worth our efforts as we seek to maintain high quality skies around our observatories. Collaborations are being forged and actions taken to promote astronomy for the longer term in Arizona.

  7. Celestial polarization patterns sufficient for Viking navigation with the naked eye: detectability of Haidinger's brushes on the sky versus meteorological conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horváth, Gábor; Takács, Péter; Kretzer, Balázs; Szilasi, Szilvia; Száz, Dénes; Farkas, Alexandra; Barta, András

    2017-02-01

    If a human looks at the clear blue sky from which light with high enough degree of polarization d originates, an 8-shaped bowtie-like figure, the yellow Haidinger's brush can be perceived, the long axis of which points towards the sun. A band of high d arcs across the sky at 90° from the sun. A person can pick two points on that band, observe the yellow brushes and triangulate the position of the sun based on the orientation of the two observed brushes. This method has been suggested to have been used on the open sea by Viking navigators to determine the position of the invisible sun occluded by cloud or fog. Furthermore, Haidinger's brushes can also be used to locate the sun when it is below the horizon or occluded by objects on the horizon. To determine the position of the sun using the celestial polarization pattern, the d of the portion of the sky used must be greater than the viewer's degree of polarization threshold d* for perception of Haidinger's brushes. We studied under which sky conditions the prerequisite d > d* is satisfied. Using full-sky imaging polarimetry, we measured the d-pattern of skylight in the blue (450 nm) spectral range for 1296 different meteorological conditions with different solar elevation angles θ and per cent cloud cover ρ. From the measured d-patterns of a given sky we determined the proportion P of the sky for which d > d*. We obtained that P is the largest at low solar elevations θ ≈ 0° and under totally or nearly clear skies with cloud coverage ρ = 0%, when the sun's position is already easily determined. If the sun is below the horizon (-5° ≤ θ Viking navigation based on Haidinger's brushes is most useful after sunset and prior to sunrise, when the sun is not visible and large sky regions are bright, clear and polarized enough for perception of Haidinger's brushes.

  8. Circles-in-the-sky searches and observable cosmic topology in a flat universe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mota, B.; Reboucas, M. J.; Tavakol, R.

    2010-01-01

    In a universe with a detectable nontrivial spatial topology, the last scattering surface contains pairs of matching circles with the same distribution of temperature fluctuations--the so-called circles-in-the-sky. Searches for nearly antipodal circles-in-the-sky in maps of cosmic microwave background radiation have so far been unsuccessful. This negative outcome, along with recent theoretical results concerning the detectability of nearly flat compact topologies, is sufficient to exclude a detectable nontrivial topology for most observers in very nearly flat positively and negatively curved universes, whose total matter-energy density satisfies 0 tot -1| -5 . Here, we investigate the consequences of these searches for observable nontrivial topologies if the Universe turns out to be exactly flat (Ω tot =1). We demonstrate that in this case, the conclusions deduced from such searches can be radically different. We show that, although there is no characteristic topological scale in the flat manifolds, for all multiply-connected orientable flat manifolds, it is possible to directly study the action of the holonomies in order to obtain a general upper bound on the angle that characterizes the deviation from antipodicity of pairs of matching circles associated with the shortest closed geodesic. This bound is valid for all observers and all possible values of the compactification length parameters. We also show that in a flat universe, there are observers for whom the circles-in-the-sky searches already undertaken are insufficient to exclude the possibility of a detectable nontrivial spatial topology. It is remarkable how such small variations in the spatial curvature of the Universe, which are effectively indistinguishable geometrically, can have such a drastic effect on the detectability of cosmic topology. Another important outcome of our results is that they offer a framework with which to make statistical inferences from future circles-in-the-sky searches on whether

  9. Introduction to the Arizona Sky Island Arthropod Project (ASAP): Systematics, Biogeography, Ecology, and Population Genetics of Arthropods of the Madrean Sky Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Wendy; Meyer, Wallace M; Eble, Jeffrey A; Franklin, Kimberly; Wiens, John F; Brusca, Richard C

    2013-01-01

    The Arizona Sky Island Arthropod Project (ASAP) is a new multi-disciplinary research program at the University of Arizona that combines systematics, biogeography, ecology, and population genetics to study origins and patterns of arthropod diversity along elevation gradients and among mountain ranges in the Madrean Sky Island Region. Arthropods represent taxonomically and ecologically diverse organisms that drive key ecosystem processes in this mountain archipelago. Using data from museum specimens and specimens we obtain during long-term collecting and monitoring programs, ASAP will document arthropod species across Arizona's Sky Islands to address a number of fundamental questions about arthropods of this region. Baseline data will be used to determine climatic boundaries for target species, which will then be integrated with climatological models to predict future changes in arthropod communities and distributions in the wake of rapid climate change. ASAP also makes use of the natural laboratory provided by the Sky Islands to investigate ecological and genetic factors that influence diversification and patterns of community assembly. Here, we introduce the project, outline overarching goals, and describe preliminary data from the first year of sampling ground-dwelling beetles and ants in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

  10. Two-dimensional Topology of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyle, Fiona; Vogeley, Michael S.; Gott, J. Richard, III; Blanton, Michael; Tegmark, Max; Weinberg, David H.; Bahcall, N.; Brinkmann, J.; York, D.

    2002-12-01

    We present the topology of a volume-limited sample of 11,884 galaxies, selected from an apparent magnitude limited sample of over 100,000 galaxies observed as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The data currently cover three main regions on the sky: one in the Galactic north and one in the south, both at zero degrees declination, and one area in the north at higher declination. Each of these areas covers a wide range of survey longitude but a narrow range of survey latitude, allowing the two-dimensional genus to be measured. The genus curves of the SDSS subsamples are similar, after appropriately normalizing these measurements for the different areas. We sum the genus curves from the three areas to obtain the total genus curve of the SDSS. The total curve has a shape similar to the genus curve derived from mock catalogs drawn from the Hubble volume ΛCDM simulation and is similar to that of a Gaussian random field. Likewise, comparison with the genus of the Two-Degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey, after normalization for the difference in area, reveals remarkable similarity in the topology of these samples. We test for the effects of galaxy-type segregation by splitting the SDSS data into thirds, based on the u*-r* colors of the galaxies, and measure the genus of the reddest and bluest subsamples. This red/blue split in u*-r* is essentially a split by morphology, as explained by Strateva and coworkers. We find that the genus curve for the reddest galaxies exhibits a ``meatball'' shift of the topology-reflecting the concentration of red galaxies in high-density regions-compared to the bluest galaxies and the full sample, in agreement with predictions from simulations.

  11. Estimates of clear night sky emissivity in the Negev Highlands, Israel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tang Runsheng; Etzion, Y.; Meir, I.A.

    2004-01-01

    A simple method was introduced to estimate the atmospheric emissivity of clear night skies based on the water temperature variation inside an open shallow pond. The method used the pond as an absorber of atmospheric radiation by measuring the water evaporation rate from the pond to ambient air and then calculating the heat loss inside the pond due to the radiative heat exchange between the pond and sky dome. An empirical correlation for the calculations of clear night sky emissivity in the Negev Highlands, Israel, was found. It showed that the emissivity of clear night sky in the Negev Highlands is slightly lower than that expected by Berdahl et al. and Clark's correlations under the climatic conditions during the period of measurements

  12. ``Dark Skies are a Universal Resource'' Programs Planned for the International Year of Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, C. E.; Berglund, K.; Bueter, C.; Crelin, B.; Duriscoe, D.; Moore, C.; Gauthier, A.; Gay, P. L.; Foster, T.; Heatherly, S. A.; Maddalena, R.; Mann, T.; Patten, K.; Pompea, S. M.; Sparks, R.; Schaaf, F.; Simmons, M.; Smith, C.; Smith, M.; Tafreshi, B.

    2008-11-01

    In an effort to help more people appreciate the ongoing loss of a dark night sky for much of the world's population and to raise public knowledge about diverse impacts of excess artificial lighting on local environments, the International Year of Astronomy's Dark Skies Working Group has established six ``Dark Skies'' programs and six ``Dark Skies'' resources. The Dark Skies programs include GLOBE at Night (with Earth Hour), Astronomy Nights in the [National] Parks, Dark Skies Discovery Sites, Quiet Skies, Good Neighbor Lighting, and a digital photography contest. Resources include the light education toolkit, the ``Let There Be Night'' DVD and planetarium program, the 6-minute video, online interactions like Second Life, podcasts, and traveling exhibits. The programs and resources are summarized here, as they were in a poster for the June 2008 ASP/AAS conference. For more information on these programs and resources, visit http://astronomy2009.us/darkskies/.

  13. Combined interpretation of SkyTEM and high-resolution seismic data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyer, Anne-Sophie; Lykke-Andersen, Holger; Jørgensen, Flemming Voldum

    2011-01-01

    made based on AEM (SkyTEM) and high-resolution seismic data from an area covering 10 km2 in the western part of Denmark. As support for the interpretations, an exploration well was drilled to provide lithological and logging information in the form of resistivity and vertical seismic profiling. Based...... on the resistivity log, synthetic SkyTEM responses were calculated with a varying number of gate-times in order to illustrate the effect of the noise-level. At the exploration well geophysical data were compared to the lithological log; in general there is good agreement. The same tendency was recognised when Sky...

  14. Night sky a field guide to the constellations

    CERN Document Server

    Poppele, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    Stargazing is among the most peaceful and inspiring outdoor activities. Night Sky, the award-winning book by Jonathan Poppele, makes it more fun than ever! Take a simple approach to finding 62 constellations by focusing on one constellation at a time, instead of attempting to study dizzying charts. Start with the easy-to-find constellations during each season and work toward the more difficult ones. Better yet, you'll learn how to locate any constellation in relation to the Big Dipper, the North Star and the top of the sky. With two ways to locate each constellation, you'll know where in the sky to look and what to look for! Along the way, you'll be introduced to mythology, facts and tidbits, as well as details about the planets, solar system and more! As an added bonus, the book comes with a red-light flashlight for night reading.

  15. A simple formula for determining globally clear skies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Long, C.N.; George, A.T.; Mace, G.G. [Penn State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)] [and others

    1996-04-01

    Surface measurements to serve as {open_quotes}ground truth{close_quotes} are of primary importance in the development of retrieval algorithms using satellite measurements to predict surface irradiance. The most basic algorithms of this type deal with clear sky (i.e., cloudless) top-to-surface shortwave (SW) transfer, serving as a necessary prerequisite towards treating both clear and cloudy conditions. Recently, atmosphere SW cloud forcing to infer the possibility of excess atmospheric absorption (compared with model results) in cloudy atmospheres. The surface component of this ratio relies on inferring the expected clear sky SW irradiance to determine the effects of clouds on the SW energy budget. Solar renewable energy applications make use of clear and cloud fraction climatologies to assess solar radiation resources. All of the above depend to some extent on the identification of globally clear sky conditions and the attendant measurements of downwelling SW irradiance.

  16. Providing Diurnal Sky Cover Data at ARM Sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klebe, Dimitri I. [Solmirus Corporation, Colorado Springs, CO (United States)

    2015-03-06

    The Solmirus Corporation was awarded two-year funding to perform a comprehensive data analysis of observations made during Solmirus’ 2009 field campaign (conducted from May 21 to July 27, 2009 at the ARM SGP site) using their All Sky Infrared Visible Analyzer (ASIVA) instrument. The objective was to develop a suite of cloud property data products for the ASIVA instrument that could be implemented in real time and tailored for cloud modelers. This final report describes Solmirus’ research and findings enabled by this grant. The primary objective of this award was to develop a diurnal sky cover (SC) data product utilizing the ASIVA’s infrared (IR) radiometrically-calibrated data and is described in detail. Other data products discussed in this report include the sky cover derived from ASIVA’s visible channel and precipitable water vapor, cloud temperature (both brightness and color), and cloud height inferred from ASIVA’s IR channels.

  17. Distribution to the Astronomy Community of the Compressed Digitized Sky Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postman, Marc

    1996-03-01

    The Space Telescope Science Institute has compressed an all-sky collection of ground-based images and has printed the data on a two volume, 102 CD-ROM disc set. The first part of the survey (containing images of the southern sky) was published in May 1994. The second volume (containing images of the northern sky) was published in January 1995. Software which manages the image retrieval is included with each volume. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is handling the distribution of the lOx compressed data and has sold 310 sets as of October 1996. ASP is also handling the distribution of the recently published 100x version of the northern sky survey which is publicly available at a low cost. The target markets for the 100x compressed data set are the amateur astronomy community, educational institutions, and the general public. During the next year, we plan to publish the first version of a photometric calibration database which will allow users of the compressed sky survey to determine the brightness of stars in the images.

  18. BlueSky Cloud Framework: An E-Learning Framework Embracing Cloud Computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Bo; Zheng, Qinghua; Qiao, Mu; Shu, Jian; Yang, Jie

    Currently, E-Learning has grown into a widely accepted way of learning. With the huge growth of users, services, education contents and resources, E-Learning systems are facing challenges of optimizing resource allocations, dealing with dynamic concurrency demands, handling rapid storage growth requirements and cost controlling. In this paper, an E-Learning framework based on cloud computing is presented, namely BlueSky cloud framework. Particularly, the architecture and core components of BlueSky cloud framework are introduced. In BlueSky cloud framework, physical machines are virtualized, and allocated on demand for E-Learning systems. Moreover, BlueSky cloud framework combines with traditional middleware functions (such as load balancing and data caching) to serve for E-Learning systems as a general architecture. It delivers reliable, scalable and cost-efficient services to E-Learning systems, and E-Learning organizations can establish systems through these services in a simple way. BlueSky cloud framework solves the challenges faced by E-Learning, and improves the performance, availability and scalability of E-Learning systems.

  19. Cloud cover over the equatorial eastern Pacific derived from July 1983 International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data using a hybrid bispectral threshold method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minnis, Patrick; Harrison, Edwin F.; Gibson, Gary G.

    1987-01-01

    A set of visible and IR data obtained with GOES from July 17-31, 1983 is analyzed using a modified version of the hybrid bispectral threshold method developed by Minnis and Harrison (1984). This methodology can be divided into a set of procedures or optional techniques to determine the proper contaminate clear-sky temperature or IR threshold. The various optional techniques are described; the options are: standard, low-temperature limit, high-reflectance limit, low-reflectance limit, coldest pixel and thermal adjustment limit, IR-only low-cloud temperature limit, IR clear-sky limit, and IR overcast limit. Variations in the cloud parameters and the characteristics and diurnal cycles of trade cumulus and stratocumulus clouds over the eastern equatorial Pacific are examined. It is noted that the new method produces substantial changes in about one third of the cloud amount retrieval; and low cloud retrievals are affected most by the new constraints.

  20. Extracting Leaf Area Index by Sunlit Foliage Component from Downward-Looking Digital Photography under Clear-Sky Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yelu Zeng

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The development of near-surface remote sensing requires the accurate extraction of leaf area index (LAI from networked digital cameras under all illumination conditions. The widely used directional gap fraction model is more suitable for overcast conditions due to the difficulty to discriminate the shaded foliage from the shadowed parts of images acquired on sunny days. In this study, a new LAI extraction method by the sunlit foliage component from downward-looking digital photography under clear-sky conditions is proposed. In this method, the sunlit foliage component was extracted by an automated image classification algorithm named LAB2, the clumping index was estimated by a path length distribution-based method, the LAD and G function were quantified by leveled digital images and, eventually, the LAI was obtained by introducing a geometric-optical (GO model which can quantify the sunlit foliage proportion. The proposed method was evaluated at the YJP site, Canada, by the 3D realistic structural scene constructed based on the field measurements. Results suggest that the LAB2 algorithm makes it possible for the automated image processing and the accurate sunlit foliage extraction with the minimum overall accuracy of 91.4%. The widely-used finite-length method tends to underestimate the clumping index, while the path length distribution-based method can reduce the relative error (RE from 7.8% to 6.6%. Using the directional gap fraction model under sunny conditions can lead to an underestimation of LAI by (1.61; 55.9%, which was significantly outside the accuracy requirement (0.5; 20% by the Global Climate Observation System (GCOS. The proposed LAI extraction method has an RMSE of 0.35 and an RE of 11.4% under sunny conditions, which can meet the accuracy requirement of the GCOS. This method relaxes the required diffuse illumination conditions for the digital photography, and can be applied to extract LAI from downward-looking webcam images

  1. All-sky brightness monitoring of light pollution with astronomical methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabaza, O; Galadí-Enríquez, D; Estrella, A Espín; Dols, F Aznar

    2010-06-01

    This paper describes a mobile prototype and a protocol to measure light pollution based on astronomical methods. The prototype takes three all-sky images using BVR filters of the Johnson-Cousins astronomical photometric system. The stars are then identified in the images of the Hipparcos and General Catalogue of Photometric Data II astronomical catalogues, and are used as calibration sources. This method permits the measurement of night-sky brightness and facilitates an estimate of which fraction is due to the light up-scattered in the atmosphere by a wide variety of man-made sources. This is achieved by our software, which compares the sky background flux to that of many stars of known brightness. The reduced weight and dimensions of the prototype allow the user to make measurements from virtually any location. This prototype is capable of measuring the sky distribution of light pollution, and also provides an accurate estimate of the background flux at each photometric band. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Clear-sky classification procedures and models using a world-wide data-base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Younes, S.; Muneer, T.

    2007-01-01

    Clear-sky data need to be extracted from all-sky measured solar-irradiance dataset, often by using algorithms that rely on other measured meteorological parameters. Current procedures for clear-sky data extraction have been examined and compared with each other to determine their reliability and location dependency. New clear-sky determination algorithms are proposed that are based on a combination of clearness index, diffuse ratio, cloud cover and Linke's turbidity limits. Various researchers have proposed clear-sky irradiance models that rely on synoptic parameters; four of these models, MRM, PRM, YRM and REST2 have been compared for six world-wide-locations. Based on a previously-developed comprehensive accuracy scoring method, the models MRM, REST2 and YRM were found to be of satisfactory performance in decreasing order. The so-called Page radiation model (PRM) was found to underestimate solar radiation, even though local turbidity data were provided for its operation

  3. Photometric Analysis of the Pi of the Sky Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Siudek

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A database containing star measurements from the period 2006–2009 taken by the Pi of the Sky detector located in Las Campanas Observatory in Chile contains more than 2 billion measurements of almost 17 million objects. All measurements are available on the Pi of the Sky web site through a dedicated interface, which also allows users to download selected data. Accurate analysis of Pi of the Sky data is a real challenge, because of a number of factors that can influence the measurements. Possible sources of errors in our measurements include: reading the chip with the shutter open, strong and varying sky background, passing planets or planetoids, and clouds and hot pixels. In order tofacilitate the analysis of variable stars we have developed a system of dedicated filters to remove bad measurements or frames. The spectral sensitivity of the detector is taken into account by appropriate corrections based on the spectral type of reference stars. This process is illustrated by an analysis of the BG Ind system, where we have been able to reduce the systematic uncertainty to about 0.05 magnitudo.

  4. Sky brightness and twilight measurements at Jogyakarta city, Indonesia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herdiwijaya, Dhani

    2016-01-01

    The sky brightness measurements were performed using a portable photometer. A pocket-sized and low-cost photometer has 20 degree area measurement, and spectral ranges between 320-720 nm with output directly in magnitudes per arc second square (mass) unit. The sky brightness with 3 seconds temporal resolutions was recorded at Jogyakarta city (110° 25’ E; 70° 52’ S; elevation 100 m) within 136 days in years from 2014 to 2016. The darkest night could reach 22.61 mpass only in several seconds, with mean value 18.8±0.7 mpass and temperature variation 23.1±1.2 C. The difference of mean sky brightness between before and after midnight was about -0.76 mpass or 2.0 times brighter. Moreover, the sky brightness and temperature fluctuations were more stable in after midnight than in before midnight. It is suggested that city light pollution affects those variations, and subsequently duration of twilight. By comparing twilight brightness for several places, we also suggest a 17° solar dip or about 66 minutes before sunrise for new time of Fajr prayer. (paper)

  5. [The backgroud sky subtraction around [OIII] line in LAMOST QSO spectra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Zhi-Xin; Comte, Georges; Luo, A-Li; Tu, Liang-Ping; Zhao, Yong-Heng; Wu, Fu-Chao

    2014-11-01

    At present, most sky-subtraction methods focus on the full spectrum, not the particular location, especially for the backgroud sky around [OIII] line which is very important to low redshift quasars. A new method to precisely subtract sky lines in local region is proposed in the present paper, which sloves the problem that the width of Hβ-[OIII] line is effected by the backgroud sky subtraction. The exprimental results show that, for different redshift quasars, the spectral quality has been significantly improved using our method relative to the original batch program by LAMOST. It provides a complementary solution for the small part of LAMOST spectra which are not well handled by LAMOST 2D pipeline. Meanwhile, This method has been used in searching for candidates of double-peaked Active Galactic Nuclei.

  6. NOAA AVHRR Clear-Sky Products over Oceans (ACSPO): Sea Surface Temperature, Clear Sky Radiances, and Aerosol Optical Depth for the Global Ocean, 2011 - present (NCEI Accession 0072979)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The AVHRR Clear-Sky Processor over Oceans, jointly developed between NESDIS STAR and OSDPD, produces AVHRR clear-sky products over oceans. ACSPO generates output...

  7. Planning and scheduling algorithms for the COSMO-SkyMed constellation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bianchessi, Nicola; Righini, Giovanni

    2008-01-01

    The COSMO-SkyMed satellite constellation for the observation of the Earth is made of four satellites equipped with radar instruments and is intended for dual use, i.e. for security as well as for environmental monitoring purpose. The planning and scheduling problem for the COSMO-SkyMed constellation

  8. Effect of the position of the visible sky in determining the sky view factor on micrometeorological and human thermal comfort conditions in urban street canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qaid, Adeb; Lamit, Hasanuddin Bin; Ossen, Dilshan Remaz; Rasidi, Mohd Hisyam

    2018-02-01

    Poor daytime and night-time micrometeorological conditions are issues that influence the quality of environmental conditions and can undermine a comfortable human lifestyle. The sky view factor (SVF) is one of the essential physical parameters used to assess the micrometeorological conditions and thermal comfort levels within city streets. The position of the visible sky relative to the path of the sun, in the cardinal and ordinal directions, has not been widely discerned as a parameter that could have an impact on the micrometeorological conditions of urban streets. To investigate this parameter, different urban streets that have a similar SVF value but diverse positions of visible sky were proposed in different street directions intersecting with the path of the sun, namely N-S, NE-SW and NW-SE. The effects of daytime and night-time micrometeorological variables and human thermal comfort variables on the street were investigated by applying ENVI-met V3.1 Beta software. The results show that the position of the visible sky has a greater influence on the street's meteorological and human thermal comfort conditions than the SVF value. It has the ability to maximise or minimise the mean radiation temperature (Tmrt, °C) and the physiological equivalent temperature (PET, °C) at street level. However, the visible sky positioned to the zenith in a NE-SW or N-S street direction and to the SW of a NW-SE street direction achieves the best daytime micrometeorological and thermal comfort conditions. Alternatively, the visible sky positioned to the NE for a NW-SE street direction, to the NW and the zenith for a NE-SW street direction and to the zenith for a N-S street direction reduces the night-time air temperature (Ta, °C). Therefore, SVF and the position of the visible sky relative to the sun's trajectory, in the cardinal and ordinal directions, must be considered during urban street planning to better understand the resultant micrometeorological and human thermal

  9. Fuzzy rule-based model for optimum orientation of solar panels using satellite image processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaher, A; Thiery, F; Grieu, S; Traoré, A; N’goran, Y

    2017-01-01

    In solar energy converting systems, a particular attention is paid to the orientation of solar collectors in order to optimize the overall system efficiency. In this context, the collectors can be fixed or oriented by a continuous solar tracking system. The proposed approach is based on METEOSAT images processing in order to detect the cloud coverage and its duration. These two parameters are treated by a fuzzy inference system deciding the optimal position of the solar panel. In fact, three weather cases can be considered: clear, partly covered or overcast sky. In the first case, the direct sunlight is more important than the diffuse radiation, thus the panel is always pointed towards the sun. In the overcast case, the solar beam is close to zero and the panel is placed horizontally to receive the diffuse radiation. Under partly covered conditions, the fuzzy inference system decides which of the previous positions is more efficient. The proposed approach is implemented using experimental prototype located in Perpignan (France). On a period of 17 months, the results are very satisfactory, with power gains of up to 23 % compared to the collectors oriented by a continuous solar tracking. (paper)

  10. Building on the International Year of Astronomy: The Dark Skies Awareness Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, C. E.; Sparks, R. T.; Pompea, S. M.

    2010-08-01

    The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) offered opportunities to create exemplary educational programs in astronomy, such as those through the cornerstone project, Dark Skies Awareness (DSA). The preservation of dark skies is important for many reasons including astronomy, energy conservation, wildlife conservation, and even human health. Light pollution is a growing concern, yet it is one of the easiest global environmental problems citizen scientists can address on a local level. The Dark Skies workshop imparted the skills necessary for participants to lead activities at their home institution for conserving dark skies. Workshop participants experienced the hands-on activities, which are suitable for use in a variety of settings including museums, science centers, planetariums, schools, university outreach efforts, and astronomy club events. Participants were immersed in activities that illustrate proper lighting, light pollution's effects on wildlife, and how to measure the darkness of your skies. Several citizen science projects were highlighted, including GLOBE at Night, the Great World Wide Star Count, and How Many Stars. These programs enlist the help of students and the general public to collect data on the night sky conditions in their community and contribute to a worldwide database on light pollution. The data can be analyzed using various online tools. A CD of activities, a light shielding demonstration, a book, a two DVD set with a planetarium show, and many other resources are included in a Dark Skies Education Kit, which workshop participants received at the close of the workshop.

  11. A Regional, Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration for Dark-Sky Protection in Flagstaff, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Jeffrey C.

    2018-01-01

    Flagstaff, Arizona is home to almost $200M in astronomical assets, including Lowell Observatory's 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope and the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer, a partnership of Lowell, the U. S. Naval Observatory, and the Naval Research Laboratory. The City of Flagstaff and surrounding Coconino County have comprehensive and effective dark-sky ordinances, but continued regional growth has the potential to degrade the area's dark skies to a level at which observatory missions could be compromised. As a result, a wide array of stakeholders (the observatories, the City, the County, local dark-sky advocates, the business and tourism communities, the national parks and monuments, the Navajo Nation, the U. S. Navy, and others) have engaged in three complementary efforts to ensure that Flagstaff and Coconino County protect the area's dark skies while meeting the needs of the various communities and providing for continued growth and development. In this poster, I will present the status of Flagstaff's conversion to LED outdoor lighting, the Mission Compatibility Study carried out by the Navy to evaluate the dark-sky effects of buildout in Flagstaff, and the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) presently underway among all the aforementioned stakeholders. Taken in sum, the efforts represent a comprehensive and constructive approach to dark-sky preservation region-wide, and they show what can be achieved when a culture of dark-sky protection is present and deliberate efforts are undertaken to maintain it for decades to come.

  12. Teach and Touch the Earth and Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florina Tendea, Camelia

    2017-04-01

    My name is Camelia Florina Tendea. I am primary school teacher at "Horea, Closca and Crisan" Secondary School, in Brad, a town in the west side of Transylvania. I am permanently interested to develop my knowledge and teaching skills about space sciences (Earth and Sky) because the new generations of students are very well informed and couriouse about these topics. In this context the teachers must be prepared to deal with such requests in school. Introducing of activity: For a primary school teacher is a real challenge teaching about Earth and Sky, so I consider that a collaboration with science teachers, engineers and other specialists in the sciences is absolutely essential and beneficial in the educational design. In my opinion, the contents about Earth ans Sky-Space in a single word- are very attractive for students and they are a permanent source of discoveries and provide a multidisciplinary vision, so required in the education. Possible contents to teach in primary school: about Earth: -Terra -the third Planet from the Sun; How Earth spins; Land and water; The Earth seen from space, Trip between Earth and Moon,Weather Phenomena; the Poles; about Sky: Solar System, Asteroids, Comets, Meteorites; Rosetta Mission or rendez-vous with a comet; Sun.Moon. Earth. Eclipse;Light Pollution and protection of the night sky; Life in Space. Astronauts and experiences; Mission X:- Train Like an Astronaut;About ISS. For teachers it is important to know from the beginning how they teach, a viable support is the teaching of STEM subjects, which provides access to careers in astronomy, science/technology space. We could teach about earth and sky using different kinds of experiments, simulations, hands-on activities, competitions, exhibitions, video presentations. Competences developed in primary school through these contents: Comunication, individual studying, understanding and valorisation of scientific information, relating to the natural environment. In addition, they are

  13. The interactive sky: a browsable allsky image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tancredi, Gonzalo; Da Rosa, Fernando; Roland, Santiago; Almenares, Luciano; Gomez, Fernando

    2015-08-01

    We are conducting a project to make available panoramas of the night sky of the southern hemisphere, based on a mosaic of hundred of photographs. Each allsky panorama is a giant image composed by hundreds of high-resolution photos taken in the course of one night. The panoramas are accessible with a web-browser and the public is able to zoom on them and to see the sky with better quality than the naked eye. We are preparing 4 sets of panoramas corresponding to the four seasons.The individual images are taken with a 16 Mpixels DLSR camera with a 50 mm lens mounted on a Gigapan EPIC robotic camera mounts. These devices and a autoguiding telescope are mounted in a equatorial telescope mount, which allows us to have exposure of several tens seconds. The images are then processed and stitched to create the gigantic panorama, with typical weight of several GBytes.The limiting magnitude is V~8. The panoramas include more than 50 times more stars those detected with the naked eye.In addition to the allsky panoramas, we embedded higher resolution images of specific regions of interest such as: emission nebulae and dark, open and globular clusters and galaxies; which can be zoomed.The photographs have been acquiring since December 2014 in a dark place with low light pollution in the countryside of Uruguay; which allows us to achieve deep sky objects.These panoramas will be available on a website and can be accessed with any browser.This tool will be available for teaching purposes, astronomy popularization or introductory research. Teacher guides will be developed for educational activities at different educational levels.While there are similar projects like Google Sky, the methodology used to generate the giant panoramas allows a much more realistic view, with a background of continuous sky without sharp edges. Furthermore, while the planetarium software is based on drawings of the stars, our panoramas are based on real images.This is the first project with these

  14. Region of Nova Cygni 1975 on the Palomar Sky Survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beardsley, W.R.; King, M.W.; Russell, J.L.; Stein, J.W.

    1975-01-01

    Careful superposition of a blue Palomar Sky Survey print onto a sectored photograph of Nova Cygni 1975 obtained with the Thaw 30-inch (76-cm) refractor at the Allegheny Observatory decisively confirms the fact that no star brighter than magnitude 21 appears on the Sky Survey print at that position

  15. The total satellite population of the Milky Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Oliver; Cautun, Marius; Jenkins, Adrian; Frenk, Carlos S.; Helly, John C.

    2018-05-01

    The total number and luminosity function of the population of dwarf galaxies of the Milky Way (MW) provide important constraints on the nature of the dark matter and on the astrophysics of galaxy formation at low masses. However, only a partial census of this population exists because of the flux limits and restricted sky coverage of existing Galactic surveys. We combine the sample of satellites recently discovered by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) survey with the satellites found in Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 9 (together these surveys cover nearly half the sky) to estimate the total luminosity function of satellites down to MV = 0. We apply a new Bayesian inference method in which we assume that the radial distribution of satellites independently of absolute magnitude follows that of subhaloes selected according to their peak maximum circular velocity. We find that there should be at least 124^{+40}_{-27}(68% CL, statistical error) satellites brighter than MV = 0 within 300kpc of the Sun. As a result of our use of new data and better simulations, and a more robust statistical method, we infer a much smaller population of satellites than reported in previous studies using earlier SDSS data only; we also address an underestimation of the uncertainties in earlier work by accounting for stochastic effects. We find that the inferred number of faint satellites depends only weakly on the assumed mass of the MW halo and we provide scaling relations to extend our results to different assumed halo masses and outer radii. We predict that half of our estimated total satellite population of the MW should be detected by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). The code implementing our estimation method is available online.†

  16. Radiative sky cooling: fundamental physics, materials, structures, and applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xingshu; Sun, Yubo; Zhou, Zhiguang; Alam, Muhammad Ashraful; Bermel, Peter

    2017-07-01

    Radiative sky cooling reduces the temperature of a system by promoting heat exchange with the sky; its key advantage is that no input energy is required. We will review the origins of radiative sky cooling from ancient times to the modern day, and illustrate how the fundamental physics of radiative cooling calls for a combination of properties that may not occur in bulk materials. A detailed comparison with recent modeling and experiments on nanophotonic structures will then illustrate the advantages of this recently emerging approach. Potential applications of these radiative cooling materials to a variety of temperature-sensitive optoelectronic devices, such as photovoltaics, thermophotovoltaics, rectennas, and infrared detectors, will then be discussed. This review will conclude by forecasting the prospects for the field as a whole in both terrestrial and space-based systems.

  17. Estimating the sky map in gamma-ray astronomy with a Compton telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbert, T.J.

    1991-01-01

    Compton telescopes represent an effective design for γ-ray astronomy in the 1-30 MeV range. However, the complexity of the system response to incident γ-rays has restricted the formulation of optimal methods for processing the data. Since data is only acquired at considerable expense and difficulty a significant investment in both algorithm development and computer processing time are warranted. Current methods for processing low level data form the sky map as either the sum or product of the probabilities that each recorded γ-ray originated from within an area of the sky map. Instead, we model the unknown sky map itself as the means of a Poisson process generating the γ-ray recorded by the telescope. In this paper the authors formulate the probability density function of the data conditioned upon the sky map and derive an iterative algorithm for estimating the sky map by the method of maximum likelihood

  18. CFHT's SkyProbe: True Atmospheric Attenuation Measurement in the Telescope Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuillandre, J.-C.; Magnier, E. A.; Isani, S.; Sabin, D.; Knight, W.; Kras, S.; Lai, K.

    Developed at the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), SkyProbe is a system that allows the direct measurement of the true attenuation by clouds. This measurement is performed approximately once per min, directly on the field viewed by the telescope. It has been possible to make this system relatively inexpensively due to low cost CCD cameras available on the amateur market. A crucial addition to this hardware is the recent availability of a full-sky photometry catalog at the appropriate depth: the Tycho catalog from the Hipparcos mission. A very important element in the SkyProbe data set creation is the automatic data analysis pipeline, Elixir, developed at CFHT for the improved operation of the CFHT wide-field imagers CFH12K and MegaCam. SkyProbe's FITS images are processed in real time, and the pipeline output (a zero point attenuation) provides the current sky transmission to the observers and aids immediate decision making. These measurements are also attached to the archived data, adding a key tool for future use by other astronomers. Specific features of the detector, such as intra pixel quantum efficiency variations, must be taken into consideration since the data are strongly undersampled.

  19. Verification of the ISO calibration method for field pyranometers under tropical sky conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janjai, Serm; Tohsing, Korntip; Pattarapanitchai, Somjet; Detkhon, Pasakorn

    2017-02-01

    Field pyranomters need to be annually calibrated and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has defined a standard method (ISO 9847) for calibrating these pyranometers. According to this standard method for outdoor calibration, the field pyranometers have to be compared to a reference pyranometer for the period of 2 to 14 days, depending on sky conditions. In this work, the ISO 9847 standard method was verified under tropical sky conditions. To verify the standard method, calibration of field pyranometers was conducted at a tropical site located in Nakhon Pathom (13.82o N, 100.04o E), Thailand under various sky conditions. The conditions of the sky were monitored by using a sky camera. The calibration results for different time periods used for the calibration under various sky conditions were analyzed. It was found that the calibration periods given by this standard method could be reduced without significant change in the final calibration result. In addition, recommendation and discussion on the use of this standard method in the tropics were also presented.

  20. Predicting Clear-Sky Reflectance Over Snow/Ice in Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yan; Sun-Mack, Sunny; Arduini, Robert F.; Hong, Gang; Minnis, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Satellite remote sensing of clouds requires an accurate estimate of the clear-sky radiances for a given scene to detect clouds and aerosols and to retrieve their microphysical properties. Knowing the spatial and angular variability of clear-sky albedo is essential for predicting clear-sky radiance at solar wavelengths. The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Project uses the nearinfrared (NIR; 1.24, 1.6 or 2.13 micrometers), visible (VIS; 0.63 micrometers) and vegetation (VEG; 0.86 micrometers) channels available on the Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to help identify clouds and retrieve their properties in both snow-free and snow-covered conditions. Thus, it is critical to have reliable distributions of clear-sky albedo for all of these channels. In CERES Edition 4 (Ed4), the 1.24-micrometer channel is used to retrieve cloud optical depth over snow/ice-covered surfaces. Thus, it is especially critical to accurately predict the 1.24-micrometer clear-sky albedo alpha and reflectance rho for a given location and time. Snow albedo and reflectance patterns are very complex due to surface texture, particle shapes and sizes, melt water, and vegetation protrusions from the snow surface. To minimize those effects, this study focuses on the permanent snow cover of Antarctica where vegetation is absent and melt water is minimal. Clear-sky albedos are determined as a function of solar zenith angle (SZA) from observations over all scenes determined to be cloud-free to produce a normalized directional albedo model (DRM). The DRM is used to develop alpha(SZA=0 degrees) on 10 foot grid for each season. These values provide the basis for predicting r at any location and set of viewing & illumination conditions. This paper examines the accuracy of this approach for two theoretical snow surface reflectance models.

  1. Fireballs in the Sky: An Augmented Reality Citizen Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Brian

    2017-01-01

    Fireballs in the Sky is an innovative Australian citizen science program that connects the public with the research of the Desert Fireball Network (DFN). This research aims to understand the early workings of the solar system, and Fireballs in the Sky invites people around the world to learn about this science, contributing fireball sightings via a user-friendly augmented reality mobile app. Tens of thousands of people have downloaded the app world-wide and participated in the science of meteoritics. The Fireballs in the Sky app allows users to get involved with the Desert Fireball Network research, supplementing DFN observations and providing enhanced coverage by reporting their own meteor sightings to DFN scientists. Fireballs in the Sky reports are used to track the trajectories of meteors - from their orbit in space to where they might have landed on Earth. Led by Phil Bland at Curtin University in Australia, the Desert Fireball Network (DFN) uses automated observatories across Australia to triangulate trajectories of meteorites entering the atmosphere, determine pre-entry orbits, and pinpoint their fall positions. Each observatory is an autonomous intelligent imaging system, taking 1000 by 36 megapixel all-sky images throughout the night, using neural network algorithms to recognize events. They are capable of operating for 12 months in a harsh environment, and store all imagery collected. We developed a completely automated software pipeline for data reduction, and built a supercomputer database for storage, allowing us to process our entire archive. The DFN currently stands at 50 stations distributed across the Australian continent, covering an area of 2.5 million square kilometers. Working with DFN's partners at NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, the team is expanding the network beyond Australia to locations around the world. Fireballs in the Sky allows a growing public base to learn about and participate in this exciting research.

  2. Fireballs in the Sky: an Augmented Reality Citizen Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Bland, P.; Sayers, R.

    2017-12-01

    Fireballs in the Sky is an innovative Australian citizen science program that connects the public with the research of the Desert Fireball Network (DFN). This research aims to understand the early workings of the solar system, and Fireballs in the Sky invites people around the world to learn about this science, contributing fireball sightings via a user-friendly augmented reality mobile app. Tens of thousands of people have downloaded the app world-wide and participated in the science of meteoritics. The Fireballs in the Sky app allows users to get involved with the Desert Fireball Network research, supplementing DFN observations and providing enhanced coverage by reporting their own meteor sightings to DFN scientists. Fireballs in the Sky reports are used to track the trajectories of meteors - from their orbit in space to where they might have landed on Earth. Led by Phil Bland at Curtin University in Australia, the Desert Fireball Network (DFN) uses automated observatories across Australia to triangulate trajectories of meteorites entering the atmosphere, determine pre-entry orbits, and pinpoint their fall positions. Each observatory is an autonomous intelligent imaging system, taking 1000×36Megapixel all-sky images throughout the night, using neural network algorithms to recognize events. They are capable of operating for 12 months in a harsh environment, and store all imagery collected. We developed a completely automated software pipeline for data reduction, and built a supercomputer database for storage, allowing us to process our entire archive. The DFN currently stands at 50 stations distributed across the Australian continent, covering an area of 2.5 million km^2. Working with DFN's partners at NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, the team is expanding the network beyond Australia to locations around the world. Fireballs in the Sky allows a growing public base to learn about and participate in this exciting research.

  3. The "All Sky Camera Network"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Andy

    2005-01-01

    In 2001, the "All Sky Camera Network" came to life as an outreach program to connect the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) exhibit "Space Odyssey" with Colorado schools. The network is comprised of cameras placed strategically at schools throughout Colorado to capture fireballs--rare events that produce meteorites.…

  4. Radiative sky cooling: fundamental physics, materials, structures, and applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Xingshu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Radiative sky cooling reduces the temperature of a system by promoting heat exchange with the sky; its key advantage is that no input energy is required. We will review the origins of radiative sky cooling from ancient times to the modern day, and illustrate how the fundamental physics of radiative cooling calls for a combination of properties that may not occur in bulk materials. A detailed comparison with recent modeling and experiments on nanophotonic structures will then illustrate the advantages of this recently emerging approach. Potential applications of these radiative cooling materials to a variety of temperature-sensitive optoelectronic devices, such as photovoltaics, thermophotovoltaics, rectennas, and infrared detectors, will then be discussed. This review will conclude by forecasting the prospects for the field as a whole in both terrestrial and space-based systems.

  5. Spinning projectile's attitude measurement with LW infrared radiation under sea-sky background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Miaomiao; Bu, Xiongzhu; Yu, Jing; He, Zilu

    2018-05-01

    With the further development of infrared radiation research in sea-sky background and the requirement of spinning projectile's attitude measurement, the sea-sky infrared radiation field is used to carry out spinning projectile's attitude angle instead of inertial sensors. Firstly, the generation mechanism of sea-sky infrared radiation is analysed. The mathematical model of sea-sky infrared radiation is deduced in LW (long wave) infrared 8 ∼ 14 μm band by calculating the sea surface and sky infrared radiation. Secondly, according to the movement characteristics of spinning projectile, the attitude measurement model of infrared sensors on projectile's three axis is established. And the feasibility of the model is analysed by simulation. Finally, the projectile's attitude calculation algorithm is designed to improve the attitude angle estimation accuracy. The results of semi-physical experiments show that the segmented interactive algorithm estimation error of pitch and roll angle is within ±1.5°. The attitude measurement method is effective and feasible, and provides accurate measurement basis for the guidance of spinning projectile.

  6. The Infrared Sky - Science from 2MASS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skrutskie, Michael

    2002-01-01

    The Two Micron All Sky Survey has imaged 100% of the celestial sphere in the near-infrared J (1.2 μm), H (1.6 μm) and Ks (2.2 μm) photometric bands. Pipeline processing of these data has produced catalogs containing 500 million stars and 1.5 million extended sources which will be released later this year. The catalogs are characterized by great photometric uniformity (1%) and precision (2-3%) around the sky as well as good astrometric accuracy (100 mas). This talk will focus on some of the initial scientific results enabled by this database ranging from brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood to large scale structure in the early universe.

  7. SOUTH POL: Revealing the Polarized Southern Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magalhaes, Antonio Mario Mario; Ramírez, Edgar; Ribeiro, Nadili; Seriacopi, Daiane; Rubinho, Marcelo; Ferrari, Tiberio; Rodrigues, Claudia; Schoenell, William; Herpich, Fabio; Pereyra, Antonio

    2018-01-01

    SOUTH POL will be a survey of the Southern sky in optical polarized light. It will use a newly built polarimeter for T80-S, an 84 cm robotic telescope installed at Cerro Tololo (CTIO), Chile. It will initially cover the sky South of declination -15 deg with a polarimetric accuracy Solar System.The polarimeter has just been commissioned in mid-November, 2017. The data reduction pipeline has already been built. We will describe the instrument and the data reduction, as well as a few of the science cases. The survey is expected to begin midway through the 1st semester of 2018. Both catalog data and raw images will be made available.

  8. 40 CFR 1048.140 - What are the provisions for certifying Blue Sky Series engines?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... Blue Sky Series engines? 1048.140 Section 1048.140 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION... Sky Series engines? This section defines voluntary standards for a recognized level of superior emission control for engines designated as “Blue Sky Series” engines. If you certify an engine family under...

  9. Integration of polarization and chromatic cues in the insect sky compass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    el Jundi, Basil; Pfeiffer, Keram; Heinze, Stanley; Homberg, Uwe

    2014-06-01

    Animals relying on a celestial compass for spatial orientation may use the position of the sun, the chromatic or intensity gradient of the sky, the polarization pattern of the sky, or a combination of these cues as compass signals. Behavioral experiments in bees and ants, indeed, showed that direct sunlight and sky polarization play a role in sky compass orientation, but the relative importance of these cues are species-specific. Intracellular recordings from polarization-sensitive interneurons in the desert locust and monarch butterfly suggest that inputs from different eye regions, including polarized-light input through the dorsal rim area of the eye and chromatic/intensity gradient input from the main eye, are combined at the level of the medulla to create a robust compass signal. Conflicting input from the polarization and chromatic/intensity channel, resulting from eccentric receptive fields, is eliminated at the level of the anterior optic tubercle and central complex through internal compensation for changing solar elevations, which requires input from a circadian clock. Across several species, the central complex likely serves as an internal sky compass, combining E-vector information with other celestial cues. Descending neurons, likewise, respond both to zenithal polarization and to unpolarized cues in an azimuth-dependent way.

  10. Polarization of sky light from a canopy atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hannay, J H

    2004-01-01

    Light from the clear sky is produced by the scattering of unpolarized sunlight by molecules of the atmosphere and is partially linearly polarized in the process. Singly scattered light, for instance, is fully polarized in viewing directions perpendicular to the sun direction and less and less so towards the parallel and antiparallel directions, where it is unpolarized. The true, multiple, scattering is much less tractable, but importantly different, changing the polarization pattern's topology by splitting the unpolarized directions into pairs. The underlying cause of this 'symmetry breaking' is that the atmosphere is 'wider' than it is deep. Simplifying as much as possible while retaining this feature leads to the caricature atmosphere analysed here: a flattened sheet atmosphere in the sky, a canopy. The multiple scattering is fully tractable and leads to a simple polarization pattern in the sky: the ellipses and hyperbolas of standard confocal ellipsoidal coordinates. The model realizes physically a mathematical pattern of polarization in terms of a complex function proposed by Berry, Dennis and Lee (2004 New J. Phys.6 162) as the simplest one which captures the topology

  11. The gamma-ray sky as seen with HAWC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hüntemeyer, Petra

    2015-12-01

    The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) TeV Gamma-Ray Observatory located at a site about two hours drive east of Puebla, Mexico on the Sierra Negra plateau (4100 m a.s.l.) was inaugurated in March 2015. The array of 300 water Cherenkov detectors can observe large portions of the sky simultaneously and, with an energy range of 100 GeV to 100 TeV, is currently one of the most sensitive instruments capable of probing particle acceleration near PeV energies. HAWC has already started science operation in the Summer of 2013 and preliminary sky maps have been produced from 260 days of data taken with a partial array. Multiple > 5 σ (pre-trials) hotspots are visible along the galactic plane and some appear to coincide with known TeV sources from the H.E.S.S. catalog, SNRs and molecular cloud associations, and pulsars wind nebulae (PWNe). The sky maps based on partial HAWC array data are discussed as well as the scientific potential of the completed instrument especially in the context of multi-wavelengths studies.

  12. Variable gamma-ray sky at 1 GeV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pshirkov, M. S.; Rubtsov, G. I.

    2013-01-01

    We search for the long-term variability of the gamma-ray sky in the energy range E > 1 GeV with 168 weeks of the gamma-ray telescope Fermi-LAT data. We perform a full sky blind search for regions with variable flux looking for deviations from uniformity. We bin the sky into 12288 pixels using the HEALPix package and use the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to compare weekly photon counts in each pixel with the constant flux hypothesis. The weekly exposure of Fermi-LAT for each pixel is calculated with the Fermi-LAT tools. We consider flux variations in a pixel significant if the statistical probability of uniformity is less than 4 × 10 −6 , which corresponds to 0.05 false detections in the whole set. We identified 117 variable sources, 27 of which have not been reported variable before. The sources with previously unidentified variability contain 25 active galactic nuclei (AGN) belonging to the blazar class (11 BL Lacs and 14 FSRQs), one AGN of an uncertain type, and one pulsar PSR J0633+1746 (Geminga).

  13. SkyQuery - A Prototype Distributed Query and Cross-Matching Web Service for the Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakar, A. R.; Budavari, T.; Malik, T.; Szalay, A. S.; Fekete, G.; Nieto-Santisteban, M.; Haridas, V.; Gray, J.

    2002-12-01

    We have developed a prototype distributed query and cross-matching service for the VO community, called SkyQuery, which is implemented with hierarchichal Web Services. SkyQuery enables astronomers to run combined queries on existing distributed heterogeneous astronomy archives. SkyQuery provides a simple, user-friendly interface to run distributed queries over the federation of registered astronomical archives in the VO. The SkyQuery client connects to the portal Web Service, which farms the query out to the individual archives, which are also Web Services called SkyNodes. The cross-matching algorithm is run recursively on each SkyNode. Each archive is a relational DBMS with a HTM index for fast spatial lookups. The results of the distributed query are returned as an XML DataSet that is automatically rendered by the client. SkyQuery also returns the image cutout corresponding to the query result. SkyQuery finds not only matches between the various catalogs, but also dropouts - objects that exist in some of the catalogs but not in others. This is often as important as finding matches. We demonstrate the utility of SkyQuery with a brown-dwarf search between SDSS and 2MASS, and a search for radio-quiet quasars in SDSS, 2MASS and FIRST. The importance of a service like SkyQuery for the worldwide astronomical community cannot be overstated: data on the same objects in various archives is mapped in different wavelength ranges and looks very different due to different errors, instrument sensitivities and other peculiarities of each archive. Our cross-matching algorithm preforms a fuzzy spatial join across multiple catalogs. This type of cross-matching is currently often done by eye, one object at a time. A static cross-identification table for a set of archives would become obsolete by the time it was built - the exponential growth of astronomical data means that a dynamic cross-identification mechanism like SkyQuery is the only viable option. SkyQuery was funded by a

  14. The Other Dark Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pazmino, John

    In previous demonstrations of New York's elimination of luminous graffiti from its skies, I focused attention on large-scale projects in the showcase districts of Manhattan. Although these works earned passionate respect in the dark sky movement, they by the same token were disheartening. New York was in some quarters of the movement regarded more as an unachievable Shangri-La than as a role model to emulate. This presentation focuses on scenes of light abatement efforts in parts of New York which resemble other towns in scale and density. I photographed these scenes along a certain bus route in Brooklyn on my way home from work during October 2001. This route circulates through various "bedroom communities," each similar to a mid-size to large town elsewhere in the United States. The sujbects included individual structures - stores, banks, schools - and streetscapes mimicking downtowns. The latter protrayed a mix of atrocious and excellent lighting practice, being that these streets are in transition by the routine process of replacement and renovation. The fixtures used - box lamps, fluted or Fresnel globes, subdued headsigns, indirect lighting - are casually obtainable by property managers at local outlets for lighting apparatus. They are routinely offered to the property managers by storefront designers, security services, contractors, and the community improvement or betterment councils.

  15. Towards the intrahour forecasting of direct normal irradiance using sky-imaging data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nou, Julien; Chauvin, Rémi; Eynard, Julien; Thil, Stéphane; Grieu, Stéphane

    2018-04-01

    Increasing power plant efficiency through improved operation is key in the development of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies. To this end, one of the most challenging topics remains accurately forecasting the solar resource at a short-term horizon. Indeed, in CSP plants, production is directly impacted by both the availability and variability of the solar resource and, more specifically, by Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). The present paper deals with a new approach to the intrahour forecasting (the forecast horizon [Formula: see text] is up to [Formula: see text] ahead) of DNI, taking advantage of the fact that this quantity can be split into two terms, i.e. clear-sky DNI and the clear sky index. Clear-sky DNI is forecasted from DNI measurements, using an empirical model (Ineichen and Perez, 2002) combined with a persistence of atmospheric turbidity. Moreover, in the framework of the CSPIMP (Concentrating Solar Power plant efficiency IMProvement) research project, PROMES-CNRS has developed a sky imager able to provide High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. So, regarding the clear-sky index, it is forecasted from sky-imaging data, using an Adaptive Network-based Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS). A hybrid algorithm that takes inspiration from the classification algorithm proposed by Ghonima et al. (2012) when clear-sky anisotropy is known and from the hybrid thresholding algorithm proposed by Li et al. (2011) in the opposite case has been developed to the detection of clouds. Performance is evaluated via a comparative study in which persistence models - either a persistence of DNI or a persistence of the clear-sky index - are included. Preliminary results highlight that the proposed approach has the potential to outperform these models (both persistence models achieve similar performance) in terms of forecasting accuracy: over the test data used, RMSE (the Root Mean Square Error) is reduced of about [Formula: see text], with [Formula: see text], and [Formula: see

  16. Integrating paleoecology and genetics of bird populations in two sky island archipelagos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, John E; Bowen, Bonnie S; Smith, Thomas B

    2008-06-27

    Genetic tests of paleoecological hypotheses have been rare, partly because recent genetic divergence is difficult to detect and time. According to fossil plant data, continuous woodland in the southwestern USA and northern Mexico became fragmented during the last 10,000 years, as warming caused cool-adapted species to retreat to high elevations. Most genetic studies of resulting 'sky islands' have either failed to detect recent divergence or have found discordant evidence for ancient divergence. We test this paleoecological hypothesis for the region with intraspecific mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite data from sky-island populations of a sedentary bird, the Mexican jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina). We predicted that populations on different sky islands would share common, ancestral alleles that existed during the last glaciation, but that populations on each sky island, owing to their isolation, would contain unique variants of postglacial origin. We also predicted that divergence times estimated from corrected genetic distance and a coalescence model would post-date the last glacial maximum. Our results provide multiple independent lines of support for postglacial divergence, with the predicted pattern of shared and unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes appearing in two independent sky-island archipelagos, and most estimates of divergence time based on corrected genetic distance post-dating the last glacial maximum. Likewise, an isolation model based on multilocus gene coalescence indicated postglacial divergence of five pairs of sky islands. In contrast to their similar recent histories, the two archipelagos had dissimilar historical patterns in that sky islands in Arizona showed evidence for older divergence, suggesting different responses to the last glaciation. This study is one of the first to provide explicit support from genetic data for a postglacial divergence scenario predicted by one of the best paleoecological records in the world. Our results

  17. Visual astronomy under dark skies a new approach to observing deep space

    CERN Document Server

    Cooke, Antony

    2005-01-01

    Modern astronomical telescopes, along with other advances in technology, have brought the deep sky - star clusters, nebulae and the galaxies - within reach of amateur astronomers. And it isn't even necessary to image many of these deep-sky objects in order to see them; they are within reach of visual observers using modern techniques and enhancement technology. The first requirement is truly dark skies; if you are observing from a light-polluted environment you need Tony Cooke's book, Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs. Given a site with clear, dark night skies everything else follows… this book will provide the reader with everything he needs to know about what to observe, and using some of today's state-of-the-art technique and commercial equipment, how to get superb views of faint and distant astronomical objects.

  18. Using a field radiometer to estimate instantaneous sky clearness Radiômetro de campo para cálculo da clareza instantânea do céu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo G. Souza

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Reflectance measurements of crop plants and canopies show promise for guiding within-season, variable-rate nitrogen (N application. Most research results have been obtained around solar noon with clear skies. However, for practical application, the system must work under cloudy skies or away from solar noon. The objective of this work was to assess the effect of cloud conditions on reflectance measurements of a corn canopy. The approach was to estimate an instantaneous sky clearness index (ICI which could be used to correct field radiometer data for variations in cloud cover, such that the same reflectance reading would be obtained (and the same N recommendation made for the same plants regardless of cloud conditions. Readings were taken from morning until night over 11 days with a range of sky conditions (sunny, overcast, partly cloudy. Data from clear days were used to estimate the theoretical expected spectral global radiation incident on a horizontal surface. The ICI was calculated as the ratio between the actual spectral global radiation and the corresponding theoretical global radiation. Analysis of the ICI for each band showed that the influence of cloudiness was different for each band. Thus, the cloud effect could not be compensated by the use of a band ratio or vegetation index.Medidas da reflectância das folhas das plantas mostram-se promissoras para a aplicação de nitrogênio a taxa variável; entretanto, a maioria dos resultados de pesquisa foi obtida ao redor do meio-dia solar e com céu aberto, porém para aplicações práticas um sistema tem que trabalhar debaixo de céu nublado e fora do meio-dia solar. O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar o efeito de condições de nuvem em medidas de reflectância de milho. A abordagem foi calcular um índice instantâneo de clareza do céu (ICI que pode ser usado para corrigir dados de radiômetros de campo para variações em cobertura de nuvem, tal que essas reflectâncias seriam

  19. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Status and prospects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loveday, J.; SDSS Collaboration

    1996-05-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is a project to definitively map {pi} steradians of the local Universe. An array of CCD detectors used in drift-scan mode will digitally image the sky in five passbands to a limiting magnitude of r{prime} {approximately} 23. Selected from the imaging survey, 10{sup 6} galaxies and 10{sup 5} quasars will be observed spectroscopically. I describe the current status of the survey, which is due to begin observations early in 1997, and its prospects for constraining models for dark matter in the Universe. 8 refs., 7 figs.

  20. A Study of Sasin-Animal Sky Map on Chonmunryucho

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Jin Yang

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Chon-Mun-Ryu-Cho, written (edited by Lee Sun-Ji during the period of King Se-Jong, is a representative astronomy book of Cho-Sun (A.D. 1392 -1910 Dynasty. We find and study in the first page of the book; the description of 28 oriental constellations as a Sasin (four mythical oriental animals-animal sky map which is not widely known yet. The map consists of four groups of constellations, each of which represents the Sasin: Chang-Ryong (dragon, Baek-Ho (tigers with Ki-Rin [Oriental giraffe], Ju-Jak (Chinese phoenix, Hyun-Mu (a tortoise interwined with a snake. Each group (animals spans 2˜7 of 28 oriental constellations As we know from the illustration of the Chon-Sang-Yol-Cha-Bun-Ya-Ji-Do a representative sky map of Cho-Sun Dynasty, astronomy in Cho-Sun Dynasty is closely related to that in Go-Gu-Ryer (B.C. 37 -A.D. 668 Dynasty. Since these Sasin-animals appear in most mural paintings of Go-Gu-Ryer tombs, visualization of sky with these animal constellations could have been established as early as in Go-Gu-Ryer Dynasty. We also reconstruct this ''A Sasin-animal Korean sky map'' based on the shapes of the Sasin and Ki-Rin from Go-Gu-Ryer paintings and 28 oriental constellations in Chon-Sang-Yol-Cha-Bun-Ya-Ji-Do.

  1. The SPHEREx All-Sky Spectral Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, James; SPHEREx Science Team

    2018-01-01

    SPHEREx, a mission in NASA's Medium Explorer (MIDEX) program that was selected for Phase A in August 2017, is an all-sky survey satellite designed to address all three science goals in NASA's astrophysics division, with a single instrument, a wide-field spectral imager. SPHEREx will probe the physics of inflation by measuring non-Gaussianity by studying large-scale structure, surveying a large cosmological volume at low redshifts, complementing high-z surveys optimized to constrain dark energy. The origin of water and biogenic molecules will be investigated in all phases of planetary system formation - from molecular clouds to young stellar systems with protoplanetary disks - by measuring ice absorption spectra. We will chart the origin and history of galaxy formation through a deep survey mapping large-scale spatial power in two deep fields located near the ecliptic poles. Following in the tradition of all-sky missions such as IRAS, COBE and WISE, SPHEREx will be the first all-sky near-infrared spectral survey. SPHEREx will create spectra (0.75 – 4.2 um at R = 41; and 4.2 – 5 um at R = 135) with high sensitivity making background-limited observations using a passively-cooled telescope with a wide field-of-view for large mapping speed. During its two-year mission, SPHEREx will produce four complete all-sky maps that will serve as a rich archive for the astronomy community. With over a billion detected galaxies, hundreds of millions of high-quality stellar and galactic spectra, and over a million ice absorption spectra, the archive will enable diverse scientific investigations including studies of young stellar systems, brown dwarfs, high-redshift quasars, galaxy clusters, the interstellar medium, asteroids and comets. All aspects of the instrument and spacecraft have high heritage. SPHEREx requires no new technologies and carries large technical and resource margins on every aspect of the design. SPHEREx is a partnership between Caltech and JPL, following the

  2. Receptive fields of locust brain neurons are matched to polarization patterns of the sky.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bech, Miklós; Homberg, Uwe; Pfeiffer, Keram

    2014-09-22

    Many animals, including insects, are able to use celestial cues as a reference for spatial orientation and long-distance navigation [1]. In addition to direct sunlight, the chromatic gradient of the sky and its polarization pattern are suited to serve as orientation cues [2-5]. Atmospheric scattering of sunlight causes a regular pattern of E vectors in the sky, which are arranged along concentric circles around the sun [5, 6]. Although certain insects rely predominantly on sky polarization for spatial orientation [7], it has been argued that detection of celestial E vector orientation may not suffice to differentiate between solar and antisolar directions [8, 9]. We show here that polarization-sensitive (POL) neurons in the brain of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria can overcome this ambiguity. Extracellular recordings from POL units in the central complex and lateral accessory lobes revealed E vector tunings arranged in concentric circles within large receptive fields, matching the sky polarization pattern at certain solar positions. Modeling of neuronal responses under an idealized sky polarization pattern (Rayleigh sky) suggests that these "matched filter" properties allow locusts to unambiguously determine the solar azimuth by relying solely on the sky polarization pattern for compass navigation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Anisotropy in the Microwave Sky at 90 GHz: Results From Python III

    OpenAIRE

    Platt, S. R.; Kovac, J.; Dragovan, M.; Peterson, J. B.; Ruhl, J. E.

    1996-01-01

    The third year of observations with the Python microwave background experiment densely sample a $5.5^o\\times 22^o$ region of sky that includes the fields measured during the first two years of observations with this instrument. The sky is sampled in two multipole bands centered at $l \\approx 92$ and $l \\approx 177$. These two data sets are analyzed to place limits on fluctuations in the microwave sky at 90 GHz. Interpreting the observed fluctuations as anisotropy in the cosmic microwave backg...

  4. Losing Sleep to Watch the Night-Sky: The Relationship between Sleep-Length and Noctcaelador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, William E.; Rose, Callie

    2005-01-01

    For most of history, humans have been watching the night-sky (Hawkins, 1983). Historically, individuals have watched the night-sky for aesthetic appreciation and to gain insights and knowledge (Brecher & Feirtag, 1979). Despite the long history of night-sky watching among humans and the apparent importance of the behavior to large groups of…

  5. Dark Skies are a Universal Resource: Programs Planned for the International Year of Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.; US IYA Dark Skies Working Group

    2008-05-01

    The dark night sky is a natural resource that is being lost by much of the world's population. This loss is a growing, serious issue that impacts not only astronomical research, but also human health, ecology, safety, economics and energy conservation. One of the themes of the US Node targeted for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) is "Dark Skies are a Universal Resource". The goal is to raise public awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on local environments by getting people involved locally in a variety of dark skies-related events. To reach this goal, activities are being developed that: 1) Teach about dark skies using new technology (e.g., an activity-based planetarium show on DVD, podcasting, social networking) 2) Provide thematic events on light pollution at star parties and observatory open houses (Dark Skies Teaching Sites, Astronomy Nights in the (National) Parks, Sidewalk Astronomy Nights) 3) Organize events in the arts (e.g., a photography contest) 4) Involve citizen-scientists in unaided-eye and digital-meter star counting programs (e.g., GLOBE at Night, "How Many Stars?” and the Great World Wide Star Count) and 5) Raise awareness about the link between light pollution and public health, economic issues, ecological consequences, energy conservation, safety and security (e.g., The Great Switch Out, Earth Hour, National Dark Skies Week, traveling exhibits and a 6-minute video tutorial on lighting issues). To deliver these programs, strategic networks have been established with the ASP's Night Sky Network's astronomy clubs, Astronomy from the Ground Up's science and nature centers and the Project and Family ASTRO programs, as well as the International Dark-Sky Association, GLOBE and the Astronomical League, among others. The poster presentation will outline the activities being developed, the plans for funding, implementation, marketing and the connections to the global cornerstone IYA project, "Dark Skies Awareness".

  6. Flying between sky islands: the effect of naturally fragmented habitat on butterfly population structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekar, Sandhya; Karanth, Praveen

    2013-01-01

    High elevation montane areas are called "sky islands" when they occur as a series of high mountains separated by lowland valleys. Different climatic conditions at high elevations makes sky islands a specialized type of habitat, rendering them naturally fragmented compared to more continuous habitat at lower elevations. Species in sky islands face unsuitable climate in the intervening valleys when moving from one montane area to another. The high elevation shola-grassland mosaic in the Western Ghats of southern India form one such sky island complex. The fragmented patches make this area ideal to study the effect of the spatial orientation of suitable habitat patches on population genetic structure of species found in these areas. Past studies have suggested that sky islands tend to have genetically structured populations, possibly due to reduced gene flow between montane areas. To test this hypothesis, we adopted the comparative approach. Using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms, we compared population genetic structures of two closely related, similar sized butterfly species: Heteropsis oculus, a high elevation shola-grassland specialist restricted to the southern Western Ghats, and Mycalesis patnia, found more continuously distributed in lower elevations. In all analyses, as per expectation the sky island specialist H. oculus exhibited a greater degree of population genetic structure than M. patnia, implying a difference in geneflow. This difference in geneflow in turn appears to be due to the natural fragmentation of the sky island complexes. Detailed analysis of a subset of H. oculus samples from one sky island complex (the Anamalais) showed a surprising genetic break. A possible reason for this break could be unsuitable conditions of higher temperature and lower rainfall in the intervening valley region. Thus, sky island species are not only restricted by lack of habitat continuity between montane areas, but also by the nature of the intervening habitat.

  7. Dark Skies Awareness Programs for the International Year of Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.; US IYA Dark Skies Working Group

    2009-05-01

    The arc of the Milky Way seen from a truly dark location is part of our planet's cultural and natural heritage. More than 1/5 of the world population, 2/3 of the United States population and 1/2 of the European Union population have already lost naked-eye visibility of the Milky Way. This loss, caused by light pollution, is a serious and growing issue that impacts astronomical research, the economy, ecology, energy conservation, human health, public safety and our shared ability to see the night sky. For this reason, "Dark Skies” is a cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy. Its goal is to raise public awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on local environments by getting people worldwide involved in a variety of programs that: 1) Teach about dark skies using new technology (e.g., an activity-based planetarium show on DVD, podcasting, social networking on Facebook and MySpace, a Second Life presence) 2) Provide thematic events on light pollution at star parties and observatory open houses (Dark Skies Discovery Sites, Nights in the (National) Parks, Sidewalk Astronomy) 3) Organize events in the arts (e.g., a photography contest) 4) Involve citizen-scientists in naked-eye and digital-meter star hunting programs (e.g., GLOBE at Night, "How Many Stars?", the Great World Wide Star Count and the radio frequency interference equivalent: "Quiet Skies") and 5) Raise awareness about the link between light pollution and public health, economic issues, ecological consequences, energy conservation, safety and security, and astronomy (e.g., The Starlight Initiative, World Night in Defense of Starlight, International Dark Sky Week, International Dark-Sky Communities, Earth Hour, The Great Switch Out, a traveling exhibit, downloadable posters and brochures). The poster will provide an update, describe how people can continue to participate, and take a look ahead at the program's sustainability. For more information, visit www.darkskiesawareness.org.

  8. Photometric Assessment of Night Sky Quality over Chaco Culture National Historical Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Li-Wei; Duriscoe, Dan M.; White, Jeremy M.; Meadows, Bob; Anderson, Sharolyn J.

    2018-06-01

    The US National Park Service (NPS) characterizes night sky conditions over Chaco Culture National Historical Park using measurements in the park and satellite data. The park is located near the geographic center of the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico and the adjacent Four Corners state. In the park, we capture a series of night sky images in V-band using our mobile camera system on nine nights from 2001 to 2016 at four sites. We perform absolute photometric calibration and determine the image placement to obtain multiple 45-million-pixel mosaic images of the entire night sky. We also model the regional night sky conditions in and around the park based on 2016 VIIRS satellite data. The average zenith brightness is 21.5 mag/arcsec2, and the whole sky is only ~16% brighter than the natural conditions. The faintest stars visible to naked eyes have magnitude of approximately 7.0, reaching the sensitivity limit of human eyes. The main impacts to Chaco’s night sky quality are the light domes from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Farmington, Bloomfield, Gallup, Santa Fe, Grants, and Crown Point. A few of these light domes exceed the natural brightness of the Milky Way. Additionally, glare sources from oil and gas development sites are visible along the north and east horizons. Overall, the night sky quality at Chaco Culture National Historical Park is very good. The park preserves to a large extent the natural illumination cycles, providing a refuge for crepuscular and nocturnal species. During clear and dark nights, visitors have an opportunity to see the Milky Way from nearly horizon to horizon, complete constellations, and faint astronomical objects and natural sources of light such as the Andromeda Galaxy, zodiacal light, and airglow.

  9. X-ray sky

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gruen, M.; Koubsky, P.

    1977-01-01

    The history is described of the discoveries of X-ray sources in the sky. The individual X-ray detectors are described in more detail, i.e., gas counters, scintillation detectors, semiconductor detectors, and the principles of X-ray spectrometry and of radiation collimation aimed at increased resolution are discussed. Currently, over 200 celestial X-ray sources are known. Some were identified as nebulae, in some pulsations were found or the source was identified as a binary star. X-ray bursts of novae were also observed. The X-ray radiation is briefly mentioned of spherical star clusters and of extragalactic X-ray sources. (Oy)

  10. Observing floods from space: Experience gained from COSMO-SkyMed observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierdicca, N.; Pulvirenti, L.; Chini, M.; Guerriero, L.; Candela, L.

    2013-03-01

    The COSMO-SkyMed mission offers a unique opportunity to obtain all weather radar images characterized by short revisit time, thus being useful for flood evolution mapping. The COSMO-SkyMed system has been activated several times in the last few years in occasion of flood events all over the world in order to provide very high resolution X-band SAR images useful for flood detection purposes. This paper discusses the major outcomes of the experience gained, within the framework of the OPERA Pilot Project funded by the Italian Space Agency, from using COSMO-SkyMed data for the purpose of near real time generation of flood maps. A review of the mechanisms which determine the imprints of the inundation on the radar images and of the fundamental simulation tools able to predict these imprints and help image interpretation is provided. The approach developed to process the data and to generate the flood maps is also summarized. Then, the paper illustrates the experience gained with COSMO-SkyMed by describing and discussing a number of significant examples. These examples demonstrate the potential of the COSMO-SkyMed system and the suitability of the approach developed for generating the final products, but they also highlight some critical aspects that require further investigations to improve the reliability of the flood maps.

  11. CMB spectra and bispectra calculations: making the flat-sky approximation rigorous

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernardeau, Francis; Pitrou, Cyril; Uzan, Jean-Philippe

    2011-01-01

    This article constructs flat-sky approximations in a controlled way in the context of the cosmic microwave background observations for the computation of both spectra and bispectra. For angular spectra, it is explicitly shown that there exists a whole family of flat-sky approximations of similar accuracy for which the expression and amplitude of next to leading order terms can be explicitly computed. It is noted that in this context two limiting cases can be encountered for which the expressions can be further simplified. They correspond to cases where either the sources are localized in a narrow region (thin-shell approximation) or are slowly varying over a large distance (which leads to the so-called Limber approximation). Applying this to the calculation of the spectra it is shown that, as long as the late integrated Sachs-Wolfe contribution is neglected, the flat-sky approximation at leading order is accurate at 1% level for any multipole. Generalization of this construction scheme to the bispectra led to the introduction of an alternative description of the bispectra for which the flat-sky approximation is well controlled. This is not the case for the usual description of the bispectrum in terms of reduced bispectrum for which a flat-sky approximation is proposed but the next-to-leading order terms of which remain obscure

  12. The SPHEREx All-Sky Spectroscopic Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unwin, Stephen C.; SPHEREx Science Team, SPHEREx Project Team

    2016-06-01

    SPHEREx is a mission to conduct an optical-near-IR survey of the entire sky with a spectrum at every pixel location. It was selected by NASA for a Phase A study in its Small Explorer Program; if selected, development would begin in 2016, and the observatory would start a 2-year prime mission in 2020. An all-sky spectroscopic survey can be used to tackle a wide range of science questions. The SPHEREx science team is focusing on three: (1) Probing the physics of inflation through measuring non-Gaussianity from the study of large-scale structure; (2) Studying the origin of water and biogenic molecules in a wide range of physical and chemical environments via ice absorption spectra; (3) Charting the history of star formation in the universe through intensity mapping of the large-scale spatial power. The instrument is a small wide-field telescope operating in the range of 0.75 - 4.8 µm at a spectral resolution of 41.5 in the optical and 150 at the long-wavelength end. It observes in a sun-sync low-earth orbit, covering the sky like WISE and COBE. SPHEREx is a simple instrument that requires no new technology. The Phase A design has substantial technical and resource margins and can be built with low risk. It is a partnership between Caltech and JPL, with Ball Aerospace and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute as major partners. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  13. X-RAY-EMITTING STARS IDENTIFIED FROM THE ROSAT ALL-SKY SURVEY AND THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agueeros, Marcel A.; Newsom, Emily R.; Anderson, Scott F.; Hawley, Suzanne L.; Silvestri, Nicole M.; Szkody, Paula; Covey, Kevin R.; Posselt, Bettina; Margon, Bruce; Voges, Wolfgang

    2009-01-01

    The ROSAT All-Sky Survey (RASS) was the first imaging X-ray survey of the entire sky. Combining the RASS Bright and Faint Source Catalogs yields an average of about three X-ray sources per square degree. However, while X-ray source counterparts are known to range from distant quasars to nearby M dwarfs, the RASS data alone are often insufficient to determine the nature of an X-ray source. As a result, large-scale follow-up programs are required to construct samples of known X-ray emitters. We use optical data produced by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to identify 709 stellar X-ray emitters cataloged in the RASS and falling within the SDSS Data Release 1 footprint. Most of these are bright stars with coronal X-ray emission unsuitable for SDSS spectroscopy, which is designed for fainter objects (g > 15 [mag]). Instead, we use SDSS photometry, correlations with the Two Micron All Sky Survey and other catalogs, and spectroscopy from the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescope to identify these stellar X-ray counterparts. Our sample of 707 X-ray-emitting F, G, K, and M stars is one of the largest X-ray-selected samples of such stars. We derive distances to these stars using photometric parallax relations appropriate for dwarfs on the main sequence, and use these distances to calculate L X . We also identify a previously unknown cataclysmic variable (CV) as a RASS counterpart. Separately, we use correlations of the RASS and the SDSS spectroscopic catalogs of CVs and white dwarfs (WDs) to study the properties of these rarer X-ray-emitting stars. We examine the relationship between (f X /f g ) and the equivalent width of the Hβ emission line for 46 X-ray-emitting CVs and discuss tentative classifications for a subset based on these quantities. We identify 17 new X-ray-emitting DA (hydrogen) WDs, of which three are newly identified WDs. We report on follow-up observations of three candidate cool X-ray-emitting WDs (one DA and two DB (helium) WDs); we have not

  14. The cut-sky cosmic microwave background is not anomalous

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pontzen, Andrew; Peiris, Hiranya V.

    2010-01-01

    The observed angular correlation function of the cosmic microwave background has previously been reported to be anomalous, particularly when measured in regions of the sky uncontaminated by Galactic emission. Recent work by Efstathiou et al. presents a Bayesian comparison of isotropic theories, casting doubt on the significance of the purported anomaly. We extend this analysis to all anisotropic Gaussian theories with vanishing mean ( =0), using the much wider class of models to confirm that the anomaly is not likely to point to new physics. On the other hand if there is any new physics to be gleaned, it results from low-l alignments which will be better quantified by a full-sky statistic. We also consider quadratic maximum likelihood power spectrum estimators that are constructed assuming isotropy. The underlying assumptions are therefore false if the ensemble is anisotropic. Nonetheless we demonstrate that, for theories compatible with the observed sky, these estimators (while no longer optimal) remain statistically superior to pseudo-C l power spectrum estimators.

  15. Cooling load reduction by means of night sky radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kamaruddin Abdullah; Armansyah, H.T.; Dyah, W.; Gunadnya, I.B.P.

    2006-01-01

    Nocturnal cooling can work under clear sky condition of the humid tropical climate. Such effect had been observed in a cool storage facilities for potatoes and for temporary storage of fresh vegetables installed in highland area of Candi kuning village of Bali. Test results have shown that the rate of heat dissipation to the sky could reduce storage temperature to 15 o C had been achieved when the nocturnal cooling unit was combined with modified cooling tower and 1 kW cooling effect of an auxiliary cooling unit. Under such condition the facility could maintain better quality of stored vegetables, such as broccoli, shallot, and celery as compared to those stored in room without cooling facility. The estimated average cooling rate due to night sky radiation was 47.6 W/m 2 , on September 28, 1999 and 47.2 W/m 2 with the lowest water temperature of 14 o C under ambient temperature of 16 o C

  16. 2012 Australasian sky guide

    CERN Document Server

    Lomb, Nick

    2011-01-01

    Compact, easy to use and reliable, this popular guide contains everything you need to know about the southern night sky with monthly star maps, diagrams and details of all the year's exciting celestial events. Wherever you are in Australia or New Zealand, easy calculations allow you to determine when the Sun, Moon and planets will rise and set throughout the year. Also included is information on the latest astronomical findings from space probes and telescopes around the world.

  17. Impacts of field of view configuration of Cross-track Infrared Sounder on clear-sky observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Likun; Chen, Yong; Han, Yong

    2016-09-01

    Hyperspectral infrared radiance measurements from satellite sensors contain valuable information on atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles and greenhouse gases, and therefore are directly assimilated into numerical weather prediction (NWP) models as inputs for weather forecasting. However, data assimilations in current operational NWP models still mainly rely on cloud-free observations due to the challenge of simulating cloud-contaminated radiances when using hyperspectral radiances. The limited spatial coverage of the 3×3 field of views (FOVs) in one field of regard (FOR) (i.e., spatial gap among FOVs) as well as relatively large footprint size (14 km) in current Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instruments limits the amount of clear-sky observations. This study explores the potential impacts of future CrIS FOV configuration (including FOV size and spatial coverage) on the amount of clear-sky observations by simulation experiments. The radiance measurements and cloud mask products (VCM) from the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) are used to simulate CrIS clear-sky observation under different FOV configurations. The results indicate that, given the same FOV coverage (e.g., 3×3), the percentage of clear-sky FOVs and the percentage of clear-sky FORs (that contain at least one clear-sky FOV) both increase as the FOV size decreases. In particular, if the CrIS FOV size were reduced from 14 km to 7 km, the percentage of clear-sky FOVs increases from 9.02% to 13.51% and the percentage of clear-sky FORs increases from 18.24% to 27.51%. Given the same FOV size but with increasing FOV coverage in each FOR, the clear-sky FOV observations increases proportionally with the increasing sampling FOVs. Both reducing FOV size and increasing FOV coverage can result in more clear-sky FORs, which benefit data utilization of NWP data assimilation.

  18. Dark Skies Ahead? Activities to Raise Awareness during the International Year of Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.; Isbell, D.; Pompea, S.

    2007-12-01

    "Dark Skies as a Universal Resource” is one of 7 themes targeted for the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. The theme's goal is to raise public awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on local environments and the ongoing loss of a dark night sky as a natural resource for much of the world's population. To reach this goal, activities are being developed which highlight dark skies preservation issues 1) through new technology (e.g., programs at planetaria, blogging, podcasting); 2) at events such as star parties and observatory open houses; 3) in arts, entertainment and storytelling (e.g., art competitions, documentaries, lectures, native American traditions); 4) through unaided-eye and digital-meter star count programs involving citizen-scientists; and 5) by relating them to public health, economic issues, ecological consequences, energy conservation, safety and security. A centerpiece of the Dark Skies theme is the unaided-eye and digital-meter versions of the GLOBE at Night program. The unaided-eye version directs citizen-scientists on how to observe and record the brightness of the night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation of Orion with one of 7 stellar maps of different limiting magnitudes. For the "digital” version, low-cost meters are used by citizen-scientists to measure the integrated sky brightness. Data sets and maps of both versions are supplied on-line for further capstone activities. In the presentation, we will outline the activities being developed as well as plans for funding, implementation, marketing and the connections to the global cornerstone IYA project, "Dark Skies Awareness".

  19. Thermography hogging the limelight at Big Sky

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plastow, C. [Fluke Electronics Canada, Mississauga, ON (Canada)

    2010-02-15

    The high levels of humidity and ammonia found at hog farms can lead to premature corrosion of electrical systems and create potential hazards, such as electrical fires. Big Sky Farms in Saskatchewan has performed on-site inspections at its 44 farms and 16 feed mills using handheld thermography technology from Fluke Electronics. Ti thermal imaging units save time and simplify inspections. The units could be used for everything, from checking out the bearings at the feed mills to electrical circuits and relays. The Ti25 is affordable and has the right features for a preventative maintenance program. Operators of Big Sky Farms use the Ti25 to inspect all circuit breakers of 600 volts or lower as well as transformers where corrosion often causes connections to break off. The units are used to look at bearings, do scanning and thermal imaging on motors. To date, the Ti25 has detected and highlighted 5 or 6 problems on transformers alone that could have been major issues. At one site, the Ti25 indicated that all 30 circuit breakers had loose connections and were overeating. Big Sky Farms fixed the problem right away before a disaster happened. In addition to reducing inspection times, the Ti25 can record all measurements and keep a record of all the readings for downloading. 2 figs.

  20. Photometric Analysis of Pi of the Sky Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafał Opiela

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Two fully automatic Pi of the Sky detectors with a large field of view, located in Spain (INTA and in Chile (SPDA observe the sky in search of rare optical phenomena, and also collect observations which include many kinds of variable stars. To be able to draw proper conclusions from the data that is received, adequate quality of the detectors is very important. Pi of the Sky data are subject to systematic errors caused by various factors, e.g. cloud cover seen as significant fluctuations in the number of stars observed by the detector, problems with conducting mounting, a strong background of the moon or the passage of a bright object, e.g. a planet, near the observed star. Some of these adverse effects are already detected during cataloging of the individual measurements, but this is not sufficient to make the quality of the data satisfactory for us. In order to improve the quality of our data, we developed two new procedures based on two different approaches. In this paper we will say some words about these procedures, give some examples, and show how these procedures improve the quality of our data.

  1. The gamma-ray sky as seen with HAWC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hüntemeyer Petra

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC TeV Gamma-Ray Observatory located at a site about two hours drive east of Puebla, Mexico on the Sierra Negra plateau (4100 m a.s.l. was inaugurated in March 2015. The array of 300 water Cherenkov detectors can observe large portions of the sky simultaneously and, with an energy range of 100 GeV to 100 TeV, is currently one of the most sensitive instruments capable of probing particle acceleration near PeV energies. HAWC has already started science operation in the Summer of 2013 and preliminary sky maps have been produced from 260 days of data taken with a partial array. Multiple > 5 σ (pre-trials hotspots are visible along the galactic plane and some appear to coincide with known TeV sources from the H.E.S.S. catalog, SNRs and molecular cloud associations, and pulsars wind nebulae (PWNe. The sky maps based on partial HAWC array data are discussed as well as the scientific potential of the completed instrument especially in the context of multi-wavelengths studies.

  2. Study of X-ray transients with Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    M. C. RAMADEVI

    MS received 1 September 2017; accepted 19 December 2017; published online 10 February 2018. Abstract. Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat is an X-ray sky monitor in the ..... 31(2–3), 99. Ramadevi M. C., Seetha S., Babu V. C., Ashoka B. N., Sreeku- mar P. 2006, Optimization of Gas Proportional Coun-.

  3. Protecting Dark Skies as a State-Wide Resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Lori E.; Walker, Constance E.; Hall, Jeffrey C.; Larson, Steve; Williams, Grant; Falco, Emilio; Hinz, Joannah; Fortin, Pascal; Brocious, Dan; Corbally, Christopher; Gabor, Paul; Veillet, Christian; Shankland, Paul; Jannuzi, Buell; Cotera, Angela; Luginbuhl, Christian

    2018-01-01

    The state of Arizona contains the highest concentration of research telescopes in the continental United States, contributing more than a quarter of a billion dollars annually to the state's economy. Protecting the dark skies above these observatories is both good for astronomy and good for the state's economy. In this contribution we describe how a coalition of Arizona observatories is working together to protect our dark skies. Efforts date back to the creation of one of the first Outdoor Lighting Codes in the United States and continue today, including educational outreach, public policy engagement, and consensus building. We review some proven strategies, highlight recent successes and look at current threats.

  4. Variable X-ray sky with Lobster Eye Telescopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hudec, R.; Pina, L.; Inneman, A.; Sveda, L.

    2004-01-01

    The variable X-ray sky requires wide-field monitoring with high sensitivity. We refer on novel X-ray telescopes with high sensitivity as well as large field of view. The results are very promising, allowing the proposals for space projects with very wide-field Lobster-eye X-ray optics to be considered. The novel telescopes will monitor the sky with unprecedented sensitivity and angular resolution of order of 1 arcmin. They are expected to contribute essentially to study and to understand various astrophysical objects such as AGN, SNe, GRBs, X-ray flashes, galactic binary sources, stars, CVs, X-ray novae, various transient sources, etc

  5. 2MASS - The 2 Micron All Sky Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinmann, S. G.

    1992-01-01

    This paper describes a new sky survey to be carried out in three wavebands, J(1.25 m), H(1.65 m), and K(2.2 m). The limiting sensitivity of the survey, 10 sigma detection of point sources with K not greater than 14 mag, coupled with its all-sky coverage, were selected primarily to support studies of the large-scale structure of the Milky Way and the Local Universe. The survey requires construction of a pair of observing facilities, one each for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Operations are scheduled to begin in 1995. The data will begin becoming publicly available soon thereafter.

  6. Diamonds in the Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brotherton, M.

    2004-12-01

    My first science fiction novel, Star Dragon, just recently available in paperback from Tor, features a voyage to the cataclysmic variable star system SS Cygni. My second novel, Spider Star, to appear early in 2006, takes place in and around a dark matter ``planet'' orbiting a neutron star. Both novels are ``hard'' science fiction, relying on accurate physics to inform the tales. It's possible to bring to life abstract concepts like special relativity, and alien environments like accretion disks, by using science fiction. Novels are difficult to use in a science class, but short stories offer intriguing possibilities. I'm planning to edit an anthology of hard science fiction stories that contain accurate science and emphasize fundamental ideas in modern astronomy. The working title is Diamonds in the Sky. The collection will be a mix of original stories and reprints, highlighting challenging concepts covered in a typical introductory astronomy course. Larry Niven's classic story, ``Neutron Star," is an excellent demonstration of extreme tidal forces in an astronomical context. Diamonds in the Sky will include forewards and afterwards to the stories, including discussion questions and mathematical formulas/examples as appropriate. I envision this project will be published electronically or through a print-on-demand publisher, providing long-term availabilty and keeping low cost. I encourage interested parties to suggest previously published stories, or to suggest which topics must be included.

  7. Quantifying the clear-sky bias of satellite-derived infrared LST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ermida, S. L.; Trigo, I. F.; DaCamara, C.

    2017-12-01

    Land surface temperature (LST) is one of the most relevant parameters when addressing the physical processes that take place at the surface of the Earth. Satellite data are particularly appropriate for measuring LST over the globe with high temporal resolution. Remote-sensed LST estimation from space-borne sensors has been systematically performed over the Globe for nearly 3 decades and geostationary LST climate data records are now available. The retrieval of LST from satellite observations generally relies on measurements in the thermal infrared (IR) window. Although there is a large number of IR sensors on-board geostationary satellites and polar orbiters suitable for LST retrievals with different temporal and spatial resolutions, the use of IR observations limits LST estimates to clear sky conditions. As a consequence, climate studies based on IR LST are likely to be affected by the restriction of LST data to cloudless conditions. However, such "clear sky bias" has never been quantified and, therefore, the actual impact of relying only on clear sky data is still to be determined. On the other hand, an "all-weather" global LST database may be set up based on passive microwave (MW) measurements which are much less affected by clouds. An 8-year record of all-weather MW LST is here used to quantify the clear-sky bias of IR LST at global scale based on MW observations performed by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) onboard NASA's Aqua satellite. Selection of clear-sky and cloudy pixels is based on information derived from measurements performed by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on-board the same satellite.

  8. Planck 2013 results. XI. All-sky model of thermal dust emission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abergel, A.; Ade, P. A. R.; Aghanim, N.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents an all-sky model of dust emission from the Planck 353, 545, and 857 GHz, and IRAS 100 mu m data. Using a modified blackbody fit to the data we present all-sky maps of the dust optical depth, temperature, and spectral index over the 353-3000 GHz range. This model is a good repr...

  9. Measuring the influence of aerosols and albedo on sky polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreuter, A; Emde, C; Blumthaler, M

    2010-11-01

    All-sky distributions of the polarized radiance are measured using an automated fish-eye camera system with a rotating polarizer. For a large range of aerosol and surface albedo situations, the influence on the degree of polarization and sky radiance is investigated. The range of aerosol optical depth and albedo is 0.05-0.5 and 0.1-0.75, respectively. For this range of parameters, a reduction of the degree of polarization from about 0.7 to 0.4 was observed. The analysis is done for 90° scattering angle in the principal plane under clear sky conditions for a broadband channel of 450 ± 25 nm and solar zenith angles between 55° and 60°. Radiative transfer calculations considering three different aerosol mixtures are performed and and agree with the measurements within the statistical error.

  10. Sacred Sky and Cyberspace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clynes, F.

    2011-06-01

    The concept of the sacred world beyond the stars found expression in the works of Plato, into Gnosticism and was incorporated into Christianity where medieval images of the cosmos pictured the heavenly domain as beyond the stars. Today cyberspace literature abounds with descriptions of a transmundane space, a great Beyond. This talk looks at current views of cyberspace and asks if they are a re-packaging of the age-old concept of a sacred sky in a secular and technological format?

  11. Clouds cover variability in São Paulo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Machado de Moura

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Clouds cover observations are performed by visual inspection which determines the fraction of the sky that is overcast. However, visual observation of clouds cover is a very subjective method, and can vary significantly among observers. This study examined the variability in clouds cover over the city of São Paulo between 1961 and 2013, using clouds cover fraction data observed at the weather station operated by IAG / USP. The study also used two techniques based on visible radiance data observed by the GOES-10 satellite in order to indirectly estimate clouds cover. In order to ensure consistency, the estimated and observed cloudiness was compared with the clearness index, which is the ratio between the total solar radiation observed at the weather station and the incoming solar irradiation at the top of atmosphere. The study found consistency between the various databases that showed similar behavior in all of the seasons of the year. The largest cloudiness values occurred in the summer and lowest in the winter.

  12. A lobster-eye on the x-ray sky

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peele, A. G.; Zhang, W.; Gendreau, K. C.; Petre, R.; White, N. E.

    1999-01-01

    We propose an x-ray all-sky monitor for the International Space Station (ISS) that will be ten times more sensitive than past monitors and that opens up a new band of the soft x-ray spectrum (0.1 -3.0 keV) for study. Taking advantage of the power telemetry and space available on the ISS we can use a telescope geometry and detectors that will provide better than 4 arc minute resolution of the entire sky in a 1.5 hr duty cycle. To achieve this sensitivity and resolution we use focusing optics based on the lobster-eye geometry. We propose two approaches to the construction of the optics. The first method, well within the reach of existing technology, is to approximate the lobster-eye geometry by building crossed arrays of planar reflectors, this gives great control over the reflecting surface but is limited in terms of resolution at the baseline 4 arc minute level. The second method is to use microchannel plates: this technology has the potential to greatly exceed the baseline resolution and sensitivity but is yet to be fully demonstrated. A simultaneous development of both approaches with selection of the superior candidate at the end of the development phase is suggested. The instrument is made of a number of modules based on a 2x2 cooled CCD detector array that covers an area of 6x6 cm 2 at the focal plane. Using optics with a radius of curvature of 0.75 m this gives each module a field of view of 9 deg. x 9 deg. The modular approach gives us enormous flexibility in terms of physical arrangement on the ISS so that we may take advantage of clear lines of sight and also in terms of built-in redundancy. We estimate that ∼50 such modules give us instantaneous coverage of 1/10 of the sky. The scientific case for this mission is almost too broad to state here. The instrument we describe will allow investigation of the long term light curves of thousands of AGN, it will detect thousands of transients, including GRBs and type II supernova, and the stellar coronae of

  13. The Next Generation Sky Survey and the Quest for Cooler Brown Dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    Kirkpatrick, J. Davy

    2002-01-01

    The Next Generation Sky Survey (NGSS) is a proposed NASA MIDEX mission to map the entire sky in four infrared bandpasses - 3.5, 4.7, 12, and 23 um. The seven-month mission will use a 50-cm telescope and four-channel imager to survey the sky from a circular orbit above the Earth. Expected sensitivities will be half a million times that of COBE/DIRBE at 3.5 and 4.7 um and a thousand times that of IRAS at 12 and 23 um. NGSS will be particularly sensitive to brown dwarfs cooler than those present...

  14. The Impact of Simulated Nature on Patient Outcomes: A Study of Photographic Sky Compositions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pati, Debajyoti; Freier, Patricia; O'Boyle, Michael; Amor, Cherif; Valipoor, Shabboo

    2016-01-01

    To examine whether incorporation of simulated nature, in the form of ceiling mounted photographic sky compositions, influences patient outcomes. Previous studies have shown that most forms of nature exposure have a positive influence on patients. However, earlier studies have mostly focused on wall-hung nature representations. The emergence of simulated nature products has raised the question regarding the effects of the new product on patient outcomes. A between-subject experimental design was adopted, where outcomes from five inpatient rooms with sky composition ceiling fixture were compared to corresponding outcomes in five identical rooms without the intervention. Data were collected from a total of 181 subjects on 11 outcomes. Independent sample tests were performed to identify differences in mean outcomes. Significant positive outcomes were observed in environmental satisfaction and diastolic blood pressure (BP). Environmental satisfaction in the experimental group was 12.4% higher than the control group. Direction of association for diastolic BP, nausea/indigestion medication, acute stress, anxiety, pain, and environmental satisfaction were consistent with a priori hypothesis. A post hoc exploratory assessment involving patients who did not self-request additional pain and sleep medication demonstrated confirmatory directions for all outcomes except Systolic BP, and statistically significant outcomes for Acute Stress and Anxiety-Acute Stress and Anxiety levels of the experimental group subjects was 53.4% and 34.79% lower, respectively, than that of the control group subjects. Salutogenic benefits of photographic sky compositions render them better than traditional ceiling tiles and offer an alternative to other nature interventions. © The Author(s) 2015.

  15. Estimation of solar radiation from Australian meterological observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moriarty, W.W.

    1991-01-01

    A carefully prepared set of Australian radiation and meteorological data was used to develop a system for estimating hourly or instantaneous broad band direct, diffuse and global radiation from meteorological observations. For clear sky conditions relationships developed elsewhere were adapted to Australian data. For cloudy conditions the clouds were divided into two groups, high clouds and opaque (middle and low) clouds, and corrections were made to compensate for the bias due to reporting practices for almost clear and almost overcast skies. Careful consideration was given to the decrease of visible sky toward the horizon caused by the vertical extent of opaque clouds. Equations relating cloud and other meteorological observations to the direct and diffuse radiation contained four unknown quantities, functions of cloud amount and of solar elevation, which were estimated from the data. These were the proportions of incident solar radiation passed on as direct and as diffuse radiation by high clouds, and as diffuse radiation by opaque clouds, and a factor to describe the elevation dependence of the fraction of sky not obscured by opaque clouds. When the resulting relationships were used to estimate global, direct and diffuse radiation on a horizontal surface, the results were good, especially for global radiation. Some discrepancies between estimates and measurements of diffuse and direct radiation were probably due to erroneously high measurements of diffuse radiation

  16. The fast transient sky with Gaia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wevers, Thomas; Jonker, Peter G.; Hodgkin, Simon T.; Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Zuzanna; Harrison, Diana L.; Rixon, Guy; Nelemans, Gijs; Roelens, Maroussia; Eyer, Laurent; van Leeuwen, Floor; Yoldas, Abdullah

    2018-01-01

    The ESA Gaia satellite scans the whole sky with a temporal sampling ranging from seconds and hours to months. Each time a source passes within the Gaia field of view, it moves over 10 charge coupled devices (CCDs) in 45 s and a light curve with 4.5 s sampling (the crossing time per CCD) is registered. Given that the 4.5 s sampling represents a virtually unexplored parameter space in optical time domain astronomy, this data set potentially provides a unique opportunity to open up the fast transient sky. We present a method to start mining the wealth of information in the per CCD Gaia data. We perform extensive data filtering to eliminate known onboard and data processing artefacts, and present a statistical method to identify sources that show transient brightness variations on ≲2 h time-scales. We illustrate that by using the Gaia photometric CCD measurements, we can detect transient brightness variations down to an amplitude of 0.3 mag on time-scales ranging from 15 s to several hours. We search an area of ∼23.5 deg2 on the sky and find four strong candidate fast transients. Two candidates are tentatively classified as flares on M-dwarf stars, while one is probably a flare on a giant star and one potentially a flare on a solar-type star. These classifications are based on archival data and the time-scales involved. We argue that the method presented here can be added to the existing Gaia Science Alerts infrastructure for the near real-time public dissemination of fast transient events.

  17. Dark Skies Awareness Cornerstone Project for the International Year of Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, C. E.; Pompea, S. M.; Iya Dark Skies Awareness Working Group

    2010-12-01

    Programs that were part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) Dark Skies Awareness (DSA) Cornerstone Project have been successfully implemented around the world to promote social awareness of the effects of light pollution on public health, economic issues, ecological consequences, energy conservation, safety and security, nightscape aesthetics and especially astronomy. In developing the programs, DSA Cornerstone Project found that to influence cultural change effectively — to make people literally look up and see the light — we must make children a main focus, use approaches that offer involvement on many levels, from cursory to committed, and offer involvement via many venues. We must make the programs and resources as turn-key as possible, especially for educators — and provide ways to visualize the problem with simple, easily grasped demonstrations. The programs spanned a wide range; from new media technology for the younger generation, to an event in the arts, to various types of educational materials, to the promotion of dark skies communities, to national and international events and to global citizen science programs. The DSA Cornerstone Project is continuing most all of these programs beyond IYA2009. The International Dark-Sky Association as well as the Starlight Initiative is endorsing and helping to continue with some of the most successful programs from the DSA. The GLOBE at Night campaign is adding a research component that examines light pollution’s affects on wildlife. Dark Skies Rangers activities are being implemented in Europe through the Galileo Teacher Training Program. The new “One Star at a Time” will engage people to protect the night sky through personal pledges and registration of public stargazing areas or StarParks, like the newest one in Italy. The Starlight Initiative’s World Night in Defence of the Starlight will take place on the Vernal Equinox. DSA will again oversee the Dark Skies portion of Global

  18. Students in Advanced Research for Sky Surveillance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gehrels, Tom

    1997-01-01

    .... to 2000 sqare degrees of sky are searched each year to a V magnitude level of 21.3. Spacewatch discoveries support studies of the evolution of the Centaur, Trojan, Main-Belt, and Earth-approaching asteroid populations...

  19. Night Sky Brightness Measurement by the Public through a Mobile Phone App

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamegai, Kazuhisa; Tsukada, Ken; Inoue, Hiroki

    2015-08-01

    The darkness of night sky is important naturally for astronomy researchers, and also for the public people. Particularly, it is meaningful for those who begin to have an interest in gazing stars. Some previous studies suggest that light pollution may affect human health and ecosystem in various ways. Furthermore, it causes a lot of waste of electric energy for lighting.In Japan, the night sky brightness had been measured by Ministry of Environment for a few decades. Recently some global efforts have been also conducted. However the number of measured position is limited because the measurement needs some apparatus and takes long time.Here we show a result of quick and easy measurements of night sky brightness by the public people through a mobile phone app. The measurements were conducted in cooperation between some members of the Tenpla project and a weather forecasting company. The app has been developed by the company and has been installed by over 6.5 million people, which allow us to get a large number of data. Our purposes are (1) making map of night sky brightness all over Japan and (2) providing an opportunity to enjoy gazing star for those who are not usually interested in astronomy.As an interactive function of the app, we put a questionnaire of four choices in which we ask users how many stars are visible in a part of the constellation of Orion. When users answer the question, we get the answer and the position where they are. Depending on the answer, we can roughly recognize the sky brightness of the position.We opened the measurements for several nights. As a result, we could get 4000 - 5000 data all over the country per night. The map of each night is a snapshot of sky brightness of the night including effect of the weather. For example we can recognize that the sky is getting darker as a function of distance from the metropolitan area of Tokyo. We will show the detail results in the presentation.

  20. Sky Glow from Cities: The Army Illumination Model v2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-01

    corresponding to one 10th magnitude star per square degree and will not be pursued further here). Benn and Ellison find that the sky brightness at La Palma ...not have electricity, liquid and pressurized lamps are 23 included. For these latter two, liquid Citronella, lamp oil , liquid paraffin and...Properties; AFGL-TR-79-0214; Air Force Geophysics Laboratory: Hanscom Air Force Base, MA, 1979. 19. Benn, C. R. and Ellison, S. L. La Palma Night-Sky

  1. MonetDB/SQL Meets SkyServer: the Challenges of a Scientific Database.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.G. Ivanova (Milena); N.J. Nes (Niels); R.A. Goncalves (Romulo); M.L. Kersten (Martin)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractThis paper presents our experiences in porting the Sloan Digital Sky Survey(SDSS)/ SkyServer to the state-of-the-art open source database system MonetDB/SQL. SDSS acts as a well-documented benchmark for scientific database management. We have achieved a fully functional prototype for the

  2. LoFASM: A Low Frequency All Sky Monitor for Radio Transients and Student Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-02

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: The Low-Frequency All- Sky Monitor (LoFASM) is an innovative new radio astronomy observatory. Designed and built by...Feb-2015 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: LoFASM: A Low Frequency All Sky Monitor for Radio Transients and Student...reviewed journals: Number of Papers published in non peer-reviewed journals: Final Report: LoFASM: A Low Frequency All Sky Monitor for Radio Transients and

  3. SkyProbe, monitoring the absolute atmospheric transmission in the optical

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuillandre, Jean-charles; Magnier, Eugene; Mahoney, William

    2011-03-01

    Mauna Kea is known for its pristine seeing conditions, but sky transparency can be an issue for science operations since 25% of the night are not photometric, mostly due to high-altitude cirrus. Since 2001, the original single-channel SkyProbe has gathered one exposure every minute during each observing night using a small CCD camera with a very wide field of view (35 sq. deg.) encompassing the region pointed by the telescope for science operations, and exposures long enough (40 seconds) to capture at least 100 stars of Hipparcos' Tychos catalog at high galactic latitudes (and up to 600 stars at low galactic latitudes). A key advantage of SkyProbe over direct thermal infrared imaging detection of clouds, is that it allows an accurate absolute measurement, within 5%, of the true atmospheric absorption by clouds affecting the data being gathered by the telescope's main science instrument. This system has proven crucial for decision making in the CFHT queued service observing (QSO), representing today 80% of the telescope time: science exposures taken in non-photometric conditions are automatically registered for being re-observed later on (at 1/10th of the original exposure time per pointing in the observed filters) to ensure a proper final absolute photometric calibration. The new dual color system (simultaneous B&V bands) will allow a better characterization of the sky properties atop Mauna Kea and will enable a better detection of the thinner cirrus (absorption down to 0.02 mag., i.e. 2%). SkyProbe is operated within the Elixir pipeline, a collection of tools used for handling the CFHT CCD mosaics (CFH12K and MegaCam), from data pre-processing to astrometric and photometric calibration.

  4. Tracking strategy for photovoltaic solar systems in high latitudes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quesada, Guillermo; Guillon, Laura; Rousse, Daniel R.; Mehrtash, Mostafa; Dutil, Yvan; Paradis, Pierre-Luc

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • In cloudy conditions tracking the sun is ineffective. • A methodology to estimate a theoretical threshold for solar tracking was developed. • A tracking strategy to maximize electricity production was proposed. - Abstract: Several studies show that from about 20% to 50% more solar energy can be recovered by using photovoltaic systems that track the sun rather than systems set at a fixed angle. For overcast or cloudy days, recent studies propose the use of a set position in which each photovoltaic panel faces toward the zenith (horizontal position). Compared to a panel that follows the sun’s path, this approach claims that a horizontal panel increases the amount of solar radiation captured and subsequently the quantity of electricity produced. The present work assesses a solar tracking photovoltaic panel hourly and seasonally in high latitudes. A theoretical method based on an isotropic sky model was formulated, implemented, and used in a case study analysis of a grid-connected photovoltaic system in Montreal, Canada. The results obtained, based on the definition of a critical hourly global solar radiation, were validated numerically and experimentally. The study confirmed that a zenith-set sun tracking strategy for overcast or mostly cloudy days in summer is not advantageous

  5. Sky Mining - Application to Photomorphic Redshift Estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayak, Pragyansmita

    severity every day, alternative method "Photometric redshift" has been studied in the past. It uses the brightness of the object viewed through various standard filters, each of which lets through a relatively broad spectrum of colors. However, these methods are bound by the degeneracy problem (objects with different color profiles have the same redshift) which leads to low predictive accuracy. As part of our study, we are looking beyond color attributes to identify other measured attributes as degeneracy resolvers as well as generate estimators that are highly accurate; termed as "Photomorphic redshift" estimators. The present study investigates the photometric information of the objects such as color and magnitude (= observed flux) and morphology attributes such as shape, size, orientation and concentration in the different wavelengths. The specific type of magnitude used in this study are the PSF, Fiber and Petrosian magnitude. The morphology attributes are the ratio of Fiber to Petrosian magnitude, concentration index and Petrosian radius. All these attributes are in the five bands ugriz of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Machine learning techniques based on Naive Bayes (NB), Bayesian Network (BN) and Generalized Linear Model (GLM) are researched to better understand their applicability, advantages and resulting predictive performance in terms of efficiency and accuracy. Note: The SDSS Data Release (DR) 10 data was used in the executed experiments (total of 700,777 galaxies with forty-five attributes associated with each galaxy). The significant findings of the present work are as follows: 1. Magnitude and morphology attributes have been found to be successful degeneracy resolvers. 2. Magnitude and morphology attributes have been found to be better redshift estimators than color attributes alone. 3. Naive Bayes, Bayesian Network and GLM have been found to be viable redshift estimation methods. Attribute selection is an important factor in computational performance

  6. Planck 2013 results. XI. All-sky model of thermal dust emission

    CERN Document Server

    Abergel, A; Aghanim, N; Alina, D; Alves, M I R; Armitage-Caplan, C; Arnaud, M; Ashdown, M; Atrio-Barandela, F; Aumont, J; Baccigalupi, C; Banday, A J; Barreiro, R B; Bartlett, J G; Battaner, E; Benabed, K; Benoît, A; Benoit-Lévy, A; Bernard, J -P; Bersanelli, M; Bielewicz, P; Bobin, J; Bock, J J; Bonaldi, A; Bond, J R; Borrill, J; Bouchet, F R; Boulanger, F; Bridges, M; Bucher, M; Burigana, C; Butler, R C; Cardoso, J -F; Catalano, A; Chamballu, A; Chary, R -R; Chiang, H C; Chiang, L -Y; Christensen, P R; Church, S; Clemens, M; Clements, D L; Colombi, S; Colombo, L P L; Combet, C; Couchot, F; Coulais, A; Crill, B P; Curto, A; Cuttaia, F; Danese, L; Davies, R D; Davis, R J; de Bernardis, P; de Rosa, A; de Zotti, G; Delabrouille, J; Delouis, J -M; Désert, F -X; Dickinson, C; Diego, J M; Dole, H; Donzelli, S; Doré, O; Douspis, M; Dupac, X; Efstathiou, G; Enßlin, T A; Eriksen, H K; Falgarone, E; Finelli, F; Forni, O; Frailis, M; Fraisse, A A; Franceschi, E; Galeotta, S; Ganga, K; Ghosh, T; Giard, M; Giardino, G; Giraud-Héraud, Y; González-Nuevo, J; Górski, K M; Gratton, S; Gregorio, A; Grenier, I A; Gruppuso, A; Guillet, V; Hansen, F K; Hanson, D; Harrison, D; Helou, G; Henrot-Versillé, S; Hernández-Monteagudo, C; Herranz, D; Hildebrandt, S R; Hivon, E; Hobson, M; Holmes, W A; Hornstrup, A; Hovest, W; Huffenberger, K M; Jaffe, A H; Jaffe, T R; Jewell, J; Joncas, G; Jones, W C; Juvela, M; Keihänen, E; Keskitalo, R; Kisner, T S; Knoche, J; Knox, L; Kunz, M; Kurki-Suonio, H; Lagache, G; Lähteenmäki, A; Lamarre, J -M; Lasenby, A; Laureijs, R J; Lawrence, C R; Leonardi, R; León-Tavares, J; Lesgourgues, J; Levrier, F; Liguori, M; Lilje, P B; Linden-Vørnle, M; López-Caniego, M; Lubin, P M; Macías-Pérez, J F; Maffei, B; Maino, D; Mandolesi, N; Maris, M; Marshall, D J; Martin, P G; Martínez-González, E; Masi, S; Massardi, M; Matarrese, S; Matthai, F; Mazzotta, P; McGehee, P; Melchiorri, A; Mendes, L; Mennella, A; Migliaccio, M; Mitra, S; Miville-Deschênes, M -A; Moneti, A; Montier, L; Morgante, G; Mortlock, D; Munshi, D; Murphy, J A; Naselsky, P; Nati, F; Natoli, P; Netterfield, C B; Nørgaard-Nielsen, H U; Noviello, F; Novikov, D; Novikov, I; Osborne, S; Oxborrow, C A; Paci, F; Pagano, L; Pajot, F; Paladini, R; Paoletti, D; Pasian, F; Patanchon, G; Perdereau, O; Perotto, L; Perrotta, F; Piacentini, F; Piat, M; Pierpaoli, E; Pietrobon, D; Plaszczynski, S; Pointecouteau, E; Polenta, G; Ponthieu, N; Popa, L; Poutanen, T; Pratt, G W; Prézeau, G; Prunet, S; Puget, J -L; Rachen, J P; Reach, W T; Rebolo, R; Reinecke, M; Remazeilles, M; Renault, C; Ricciardi, S; Riller, T; Ristorcelli, I; Rocha, G; Rosset, C; Roudier, G; Rowan-Robinson, M; Rubiño-Martín, J A; Rusholme, B; Sandri, M; Santos, D; Savini, G; Scott, D; Seiffert, M D; Shellard, E P S; Spencer, L D; Starck, J -L; Stolyarov, V; Stompor, R; Sudiwala, R; Sunyaev, R; Sureau, F; Sutton, D; Suur-Uski, A -S; Sygnet, J -F; Tauber, J A; Tavagnacco, D; Terenzi, L; Toffolatti, L; Tomasi, M; Tristram, M; Tucci, M; Tuovinen, J; Türler, M; Umana, G; Valenziano, L; Valiviita, J; Van Tent, B; Vielva, P; Villa, F; Vittorio, N; Wade, L A; Wandelt, B D; Welikala, N; Yvon, D; Zacchei, A; Zonca, A

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents an all-sky model of dust emission from the Planck 857, 545 and 353 GHz, and IRAS 100 micron data. Using a modified black-body fit to the data we present all-sky maps of the dust optical depth, temperature, and spectral index over the 353-3000 GHz range. This model is a tight representation of the data at 5 arcmin. It shows variations of the order of 30 % compared with the widely-used model of Finkbeiner, Davis, and Schlegel. The Planck data allow us to estimate the dust temperature uniformly over the whole sky, providing an improved estimate of the dust optical depth compared to previous all-sky dust model, especially in high-contrast molecular regions. An increase of the dust opacity at 353 GHz, tau_353/N_H, from the diffuse to the denser interstellar medium (ISM) is reported. It is associated with a decrease in the observed dust temperature, T_obs, that could be due at least in part to the increased dust opacity. We also report an excess of dust emission at HI column densities lower than...

  7. All-Sky Interferometry with Spherical Harmonic Transit Telescopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shaw, J.Richard [Canadian Inst. Theor. Astrophys.; Sigurdson, Kris [British Columbia U.; Pen, Ue-Li [Canadian Inst. Theor. Astrophys.; Stebbins, Albert [Fermilab; Sitwell, Michael [British Columbia U.

    2013-02-01

    In this paper we describe the spherical harmonic transit telescope, a novel formalism for the analysis of transit radio telescopes. This all-sky approach bypasses the curved sky complications of traditional interferometry and so is particularly well suited to the analysis of wide-field radio interferometers. It enables compact and computationally efficient representations of the data and its statistics that allow new ways of approaching important problems like map-making and foreground removal. In particular, we show how it enables the use of the Karhunen-Loeve transform as a highly effective foreground filter, suppressing realistic foreground residuals for our fiducial example by at least a factor twenty below the 21cm signal even in highly contaminated regions of the sky. This is despite the presence of the angle-frequency mode mixing inherent in real-world instruments with frequency-dependent beams. We show, using Fisher forecasting, that foreground cleaning has little effect on power spectrum constraints compared to hypothetical foreground-free measurements. Beyond providing a natural real-world data analysis framework for 21cm telescopes now under construction and future experiments, this formalism allows accurate power spectrum forecasts to be made that include the interplay of design constraints and realistic experimental systematics with twenty-first century 21cm science.

  8. Determination of the sun area in sky camera images using radiometric data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alonso, J.; Batlles, F.J.; Villarroel, C.; Ayala, Rosa; Burgaleta, J.I.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We have developed a model for the determination of solar area on sky camera imagery. • An estimation of direct normal irradiance is given for cloudless sky. • The presented model resolves the problem of saturation of pixels in the solar area. • The model allows to identify clouds in the solar area of sky camera imagery. • Developed model has an 92% of agreement between processed and observed images. - Abstract: Due to the increasing development and expansion of solar power plants, it is necessary to have complete and absolute knowledge of all factors and occurrences that can affect the dynamics and quality of their production. The importance of clouds in the attenuation of solar radiation is a transcendental and decisive factor in the incident energy from the sun. Detecting clouds with sky cameras is a very problematic issue. The captured solar area in the images exhibits a pronounced saturation of pixels as a consequence of sunlight penetration and the appearance of various atmospheric features. The present article reports a methodology based on radiometric data that is used to determine the causes of saturation in the solar zone and its vicinity on images from a TSI-880 model sky camera. The correct method identifies the presence or absence of clouds in the saturated zone with 92% success

  9. A Comprehensive Approach to Dark Skies Research and Education at NOAO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.; Pompea, S. M.; Sparks, R. T.

    2013-01-01

    NOAO and its Education and Public Outreach group play an important role locally, nationally, and internationally in raising dark skies awareness. For the past 3 years NOAO has co-hosted the international “Earth and Sky” photo contest. In 2012 there were over 600 entries contributed within 3 weeks. NOAO also created a series of audio podcasts based on serial-type skits featuring a caped dark-skies hero who typically “saves the night” by mitigating upward directed lights with shields, thereby saving sea turtles, minimizing health effects, conserving energy, or keeping the public safe. To help understand the effects of light pollution, a citizen-science campaign called GLOBE at Night was started seven years ago. The worldwide campaign involves the public in recording night sky brightness data by matching the view of a constellation like Orion with maps of progressively fainter stars. Every year, NOAO adds more opportunities for participation: more campaigns during the year, Web applications for smart phones, objective measurements with sky brightness meters, and a GLOBE at Night Facebook page. Campaigns will run roughly the first 10 days of January through May in 2013. The EPO group created “Dark Skies Rangers”, a suite of well-tested and evaluated hands-on, minds-on activities that have children building star-brightness “readers,” creating glow-in-the-dark tracings to visualize constellations, and role-playing confused sea turtles. They also created a model city with shielded lights to stop upward light, examine different kinds of bulbs for energy efficiency, and perform an outdoor lighting audit of their school or neighborhood to determine ways to save energy. In the REU program at NOAO North, the undergraduate students have been doing research over the last 3 summers on effect of light pollution on endangered bats and characterizing the behavior of sky brightness over time across Tucson and on nearby astronomical mountaintops. For more information

  10. Sky subtraction at the Poisson limit with fibre-optic multiobject spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, R.; Parkinson, H.

    2010-11-01

    We report on the limitations of sky-subtraction accuracy for long-duration fibre-optic multiobject spectroscopy of faint astronomical sources during long-duration exposures. We show that while standard sky subtraction techniques yield accuracies consistent with the Poisson noise limit for exposures of 1h duration, there are large-scale systematic defects that inhibit the sensitivity gains expected on the summation of longer duration exposures. For the AAOmega system at the Anglo-Australian Telescope, we identify a limiting systematic sky-subtraction accuracy, which is reached after integration times of 4-10h. We show that these systematic defects can be avoided through the use of the fibre nod-and-shuffle (N+S) observing mode, but with a potential cost in observing efficiency. Finally, we demonstrate that these disadvantages can be overcome through the application of a Principal Components Analysis (PCA) sky-subtraction routine. Such an approach minimize systematic residuals across long-duration exposures, allowing deep integrations. We apply the PCA approach to over 200h of on-sky observations and conclude that for the AAOmega system, the residual error in long-duration observations falls at a rate proportional to τ-0.32 in contrast to the τ-0.5 rate expected from theoretical considerations. With this modest rate of decline, the PCA approach represents a more efficient mode of observation than the N+S technique for observations in the sky limited regime with durations of 10-100h (even before accounting for the additional signal-to-noise ratio and targeting efficiency losses often associated with the N+S technique). This conclusion has important implications for the observing strategies of the next generation of fibre-optics redshift surveys with existing facilities as well as design implications for fibre-optic systems destined for new facilities. It argues against the use of the inherently inefficient N+S technique for faint object fibre-optic survey

  11. Measuring the color and brightness of artificial sky glow from cities using an all-sky imaging system calibrated with astronomical methods in the Johnson-Cousins B and V photometric systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pipkin, Ashley; Duriscoe, Dan M.; Lughinbuhl, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Artificial light at night, when observed at some distance from a city, results in a dome of sky glow, brightest at the horizon. The spectral power distribution of electric light utilized will determine its color of the light dome and the amount of light will determine its brightness. Recent outdoor lighting technologies have included blue-rich light emitting diode (LED) sources that may increase the relative amount of blue to green light in sky glow compared to typical high pressure sodium (HPS) sources with warmer spectra. Measuring and monitoring this effect is important to the preservation of night sky visual quality as seen from undeveloped areas outside the city, such as parks or other protected areas, since the dark-adapted human eye is more sensitive to blue and green. We present a method using a wide field CCD camera which images the entire sky in both Johnson V and B photometric bands. Standard stars within the images are used for calibration. The resulting all-sky brightness maps, and a derived B-V color index map, provide a means to assess and track the impact of specific outdoor lighting practices. We also present example data from several cities, including Las Vegas, Nevada, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

  12. Between Earth and Sky

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    to rescue architecture from the sterile impasse of late-modernism. In his works the basic elements of lived space become present: the earth, the sky and the `between` of human existence." Jørn Utzon's architecture ranges from the modest to the monumental; from the Kingo courtyard houses, the finest...... of form, material and function, motivated by social values. To this essentially regional response, Utzon combines a fascination for the architectural legacies of foreign cultures. These influences include the architecture of the ancient Mayan civilisation, as well as the Islamic world, China and Japan...

  13. Deep sky observing an astronomical tour

    CERN Document Server

    Coe, Steven R

    2016-01-01

    This updated second edition has all of the information needed for your successful forays into deep sky observing. Coe uses his years of experience to give detailed practical advice about how to find the best observing site, how to make the most of the time spent there, and what equipment and instruments to take along. There are comprehensive lists of deep sky objects of all kinds, along with Steve's own observations describing how they look through telescopes with apertures ranging from 4 inches to 36 inches (0.1 - 0.9 meters). Binocular observing also gets its due, while the lists of objects have been amended to highlight only the best targets. A new index makes finding targets easier than ever before, while the selection of viewing targets has been revised from the first edition. Most of all, this book is all about how to enjoy astronomy. The author's enthusiasm and sense of wonder shine through every page as he invites you along on a tour of some of the most beautiful and fascinating sites in the deep ...

  14. ultra-Stable Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (5STAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunagan, S. E.; Johnson, R. R.; Redemann, J.; Holben, B. N.; Schmid, B.; Flynn, C. J.; Fahey, L.; LeBlanc, S. E.; Liss, J.; Kacenelenbogen, M. S.; Segal-Rosenhaimer, M.; Shinozuka, Y.; Dahlgren, R. P.; Pistone, K.; Karol, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (4STAR) combines airborne sun tracking and sky scanning with diffraction spectroscopy to improve knowledge of atmospheric constituents and their links to air pollution and climate. Direct beam hyperspectral measurement of optical depth improves retrievals of gas constituents and determination of aerosol properties. Sky scanning enhances retrievals of aerosol type and size distribution. Hyperspectral cloud-transmitted radiance measurements enable the retrieval of cloud properties from below clouds. These measurements tighten the closure between satellite and ground-based measurements. 4STAR incorporates a modular sun-tracking/ sky-scanning optical head with optical fiber signal transmission to rack mounted spectrometers, permitting miniaturization of the external optical tracking head, and future detector evolution. 4STAR has supported a broad range of flight experiments since it was first flown in 2010. This experience provides the basis for a series of improvements directed toward reducing measurement uncertainty and calibration complexity, and expanding future measurement capabilities, to be incorporated into a new 5STAR instrument. A 9-channel photodiode radiometer with AERONET-matched bandpass filters will be incorporated to improve calibration stability. A wide dynamic range tracking camera will provide a high precision solar position tracking signal as well as an image of sky conditions around the solar axis. An ultrasonic window cleaning system design will be tested. A UV spectrometer tailored for formaldehyde and SO2 gas retrievals will be added to the spectrometer enclosure. Finally, expansion capability for a 4 channel polarized radiometer to measure the Stokes polarization vector of sky light will be incorporated. This paper presents initial progress on this next-generation 5STAR instrument. Keywords: atmosphere; climate; pollution; radiometry; technology; hyperspectral; fiber optic

  15. Climate and colored walls: in search of visual comfort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrarte-Grau, Malvina

    2002-06-01

    The quality of natural light, the landscape surrounds and the techniques of construction are important factors in the selection of architectural colors. Observation of exterior walls in differentiated climates allows the recognition of particularities in the use of color which satisfy the need for visual comfort. At a distance of 2000 kilometers along the coast of Peru, Lima and Mancora at 12° and 4° respectively, are well defined for their climatic characteristics: in Mancora sunlight causes high reflection, in Lima overcast sky and high humidity cause glare. The study of building color effects at these locations serves to illustrate that color values may be controlled in order to achieve visual comfort and contribute to color identity.

  16. Approximate models for broken clouds in stochastic radiative transfer theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doicu, Adrian; Efremenko, Dmitry S.; Loyola, Diego; Trautmann, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents approximate models in stochastic radiative transfer theory. The independent column approximation and its modified version with a solar source computed in a full three-dimensional atmosphere are formulated in a stochastic framework and for arbitrary cloud statistics. The nth-order stochastic models describing the independent column approximations are equivalent to the nth-order stochastic models for the original radiance fields in which the gradient vectors are neglected. Fast approximate models are further derived on the basis of zeroth-order stochastic models and the independent column approximation. The so-called “internal mixing” models assume a combination of the optical properties of the cloud and the clear sky, while the “external mixing” models assume a combination of the radiances corresponding to completely overcast and clear skies. A consistent treatment of internal and external mixing models is provided, and a new parameterization of the closure coefficient in the effective thickness approximation is given. An efficient computation of the closure coefficient for internal mixing models, using a previously derived vector stochastic model as a reference, is also presented. Equipped with appropriate look-up tables for the closure coefficient, these models can easily be integrated into operational trace gas retrieval systems that exploit absorption features in the near-IR solar spectrum. - Highlights: • Independent column approximation in a stochastic setting. • Fast internal and external mixing models for total and diffuse radiances. • Efficient optimization of internal mixing models to match reference models

  17. An Investigation of LED Street Lighting's Impact on Sky Glow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kinzey, Bruce R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Perrin, Tess E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Miller, Naomi J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Kocifaj, Miroslav [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Aube, Martin [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Lamphar, Hector A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2017-04-25

    A significant amount of public attention has recently focused on perceived impacts of converting street lighting from incumbent lamp-based products to LED technology. Much of this attention pertains to the higher content of short wavelength light (commonly referred to as "blue light") of LEDs and its attendant influences on sky glow (a brightening of the night sky that can interfere with astronomical observation and may be associated with a host of other issues). The complexity of this topic leads to common misunderstandings and misperceptions among the public, and for this reason the U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting Program embarked on a study of sky glow using a well-established astronomical model to investigate some of the primary factors influencing sky glow. This report details the results of the investigation and attempts to present those results in terms accessible to the general lighting community. The report also strives to put the results into a larger context, and help educate interested readers on various topics relevant to the issues being discussed.

  18. Sirius brightest diamond in the night sky

    CERN Document Server

    Holberg, Jay B

    2007-01-01

    This book describes why Sirius has been regarded as an important fixture of the night sky since the beginnings of history. It also examines the part that Sirius has played in how we came to achieve our current scientific understanding of stars.

  19. Influence of Sky Conditions on Estimation of Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density for Agricultural Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, M.; Yoshimura, M.

    2018-04-01

    Photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD: µmol m-2 s-1) is indispensable for plant physiology processes in photosynthesis. However, PPFD is seldom measured, so that PPFD has been estimated by using solar radiation (SR: W m-2) measured in world wide. In method using SR, there are two steps: first to estimate photosynthetically active radiation (PAR: W m-2) by the fraction of PAR to SR (PF) and second: to convert PAR to PPFD using the ratio of quanta to energy (Q / E: µmol J-1). PF and Q/E usually have been used as the constant values, however, recent studies point out that PF and Q / E would not be constants under various sky conditions. In this study, we use the numeric data of sky-conditions factors such cloud cover, sun appearance/hiding and relative sky brightness derived from whole-sky image processing and examine the influences of sky-conditions factors on PF and Q / E of global and diffuse PAR. Furthermore, we discuss our results by comparing with the existing methods.

  20. A new theory and its application to remove the effect of surface-reflected light in above-surface radiance data from clear and turbid waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dev, Pravin Jeba; Shanmugam, Palanisamy

    2014-01-01

    Water-leaving radiances (L w ) measured from the deck of a ship or boat in oceanic and lake waters are widely and operationally used for satellite sensor vicarious calibration and validation and development of remote-sensing algorithms to understand interdisciplinary coastal ocean properties and processes. However, accurate determination of L w remains to be a challenging issue because of the limitations of the existing methods to accurately remove the undesired signal (surface-reflected light of the sky and sun) from above-surface measurements of the total upwelling radiance leaving the water surface. In this study, a new theory is developed and applied to the above-surface radiometric data measured from clear, turbid and eutrophic waters. The new method effectively removes surface-reflected contributions from the total upwelling radiance signal under different sky (clear sky to overcast sky) and sun glint conditions. The L w spectra obtained from the above-surface radiance data using the new method are found to match well with those extrapolated from the upwelling radiances (L u ) measured with another set of underwater radiometers (used just below the sea surface). The new method proves to be a viable alternative, especially in circumstances when the above-surface measurements of radiances are severally contaminated by the surface-reflected light fields. Since spectral radiance measurements are also sensitive to the observation angles, and to the magnitude of the radiometer's solid angle field of view, above-surface radiances are also measured for different viewing angles in highly eutrophic waters. Such measurements show large deviations in L w spectra except at lower viewing angles (30°). When applied to these data, the new method eliminates the undesired signal encountered at higher viewing angles and delivers accurate water-leaving radiance data. These results suggest that the new method is capable of removing the surface-reflected light fields from both

  1. Microscopic dust in the infrared sky

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leene, A.; Wesselius, P.

    1985-01-01

    After ten months of observation IRAS (InfraRed Astronomical Satellite) revealed for the first time an infrared sky map. One of its major discovery has been the display of new constituents in Universe: the infrared cirrus which are interstellar clouds constituted of microparticles abounding in carbon. Results and first hypothesis are presented in this article [fr

  2. Mitigation of Volcanic Risk: The COSMO-SkyMed Contribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacco, Patrizia; Daraio, Maria Girolamo; Battagliere, Maria Libera; Coletta, Alessandro

    2015-05-01

    The Italian Space Agency (ASI) promotes Earth Observation (EO) applications related to themes such as the prediction, monitoring, management and mitigation of natural and anthropogenic hazards. The approach generally followed is the development and demonstration of prototype services, using currently available data from space missions, in particular the COSMO-SkyMed (Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin observation) mission, which represents the largest Italian investment in Space System for EO and thanks to which Italy plays a key role worldwide. Projects funded by ASI provide the convergence of various national industry expertise, research and institutional reference users. In this context a significant example is represented by the ASI Pilot Projects, recently concluded, dealing with various thematic, such as volcanoes. In this paper a special focus will be addressed to the volcanic risk management and the contribution provided in this field by COSMO-SkyMed satellite constellation during the last years. A comprehensive overview of the various national and international projects using COSMO-SkyMed data for the volcanic risk mitigation will be given, highlighting the Italian contribution provided worldwide in this operational framework.

  3. Clear-sky narrowband albedos derived from VIRS and MODIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun-Mack, Sunny; Minnis, Patrick; Chen, Yan; Arduini, Robert F.

    2004-02-01

    The Clouds and Earth"s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project is using multispectral imagers, the Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS) on the tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Terra, operating since spring 2000, and Aqua, operating since summer 2002, to provide cloud and clear-sky properties at various wavelengths. This paper presents the preliminary results of an analysis of the CERES clear-sky reflectances to derive a set top-of-atmosphere clear sky albedo for 0.65, 0.86, 1.6, 2.13 μm, for all major surface types using the combined MODIS and VIRS datasets. The variability of snow albedo with surface type is examined using MODIS data. Snow albedo was found to depend on the vertical structure of the vegetation. At visible wavelengths, it is least for forested areas and greatest for smooth desert and tundra surfaces. At 1.6 and 2.1-μm, the snow albedos are relatively insensitive to the underlying surface because snow decreases the reflectance. Additional analyses using all of the MODIS results will provide albedo models that should be valuable for many remote sensing, simulation and radiation budget studies.

  4. Confirmation of gastric tube bedside placement with the sky blue method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imamura, Takashi; Maeda, Hajime; Kinoshita, Hidetoshi; Shibukawa, Yasuko; Suda, Kiyomi; Fukuda, Yutaka; Goto, Aya; Nagasawa, Katsutoshi

    2014-02-01

    The purpose was to review our experiences and determine if applying the sky blue method is reliable in confirming gastric tube (GT) placement in neonates. The study population consisted of 44 infants (55 placements) who were admitted to the Takeda General Hospital between April 2012 and March 2013 and who required GT exchange. The sky blue method using indigo carmine (IC) was indicated for planned tube exchange only. Diluted IC was injected into the gastric space via the old GT just before the tube exchange. The tube was exchanged using a standard method. Then, we checked whether the diluted IC could be collected through the new GT or not. The reasons for GT placement were a gestational age of sky blue method was considered successful in 52 placements (94.4%), with the remaining 3 placements (5.6%) considered to be failures due to the inability to obtain IC from the gastric space. No adverse events were observed during the tube exchange period. Based on the results, the sky blue method can be considered to be reliable method for the confirmation of GT placement. These results also suggest that the number of radiologic evaluations performed to confirm correct replacement of the GT in infants can be reduced in the future.

  5. ATLAS: A High-cadence All-sky Survey System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonry, J. L.; Denneau, L.; Heinze, A. N.; Stalder, B.; Smith, K. W.; Smartt, S. J.; Stubbs, C. W.; Weiland, H. J.; Rest, A.

    2018-06-01

    Technology has advanced to the point that it is possible to image the entire sky every night and process the data in real time. The sky is hardly static: many interesting phenomena occur, including variable stationary objects such as stars or QSOs, transient stationary objects such as supernovae or M dwarf flares, and moving objects such as asteroids and the stars themselves. Funded by NASA, we have designed and built a sky survey system for the purpose of finding dangerous near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). This system, the “Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System” (ATLAS), has been optimized to produce the best survey capability per unit cost, and therefore is an efficient and competitive system for finding potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) but also for tracking variables and finding transients. While carrying out its NASA mission, ATLAS now discovers more bright (m day cadence. ATLAS discovered the afterglow of a gamma-ray burst independent of the high energy trigger and has released a variable star catalog of 5 × 106 sources. This is the first of a series of articles describing ATLAS, devoted to the design and performance of the ATLAS system. Subsequent articles will describe in more detail the software, the survey strategy, ATLAS-derived NEA population statistics, transient detections, and the first data release of variable stars and transient light curves.

  6. Light pollution in ultraviolet and visible spectrum: effect on different visual perceptions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Héctor Antonio Solano Lamphar

    Full Text Available In general terms, lighting research has been focused in the development of artificial light with the purpose of saving energy and having more durable lamps. However, the consequences that artificial night lighting could bring to the human being and living organisms have become an important issue recently. Light pollution represents a significant problem to both the environment and human health causing a disruption of biological rhythms related not only to the visible spectrum, but also to other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since the lamps emit across a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, all photobiological species may be exposed to another type of light pollution. By comparing five different lamps, the present study attempts to evaluate UV radiative fluxes relative to what humans and two species of insects perceive as sky glow level. We have analyzed three atmospheric situations: clear sky, overcast sky and evolving precipitable water content. One important finding suggests that when a constant illuminance of urban spaces has to be guaranteed the sky glow from the low pressure sodium lamps has the most significant effect to the visual perception of the insects tested. But having the fixed number of luminaires the situation changes and the low pressure sodium lamp would be the best choice for all three species. The sky glow effects can be interpreted correctly only if the lamp types and the required amount of scotopic luxes at the ground are taken into account simultaneously. If these two factors are combined properly, then the ecological consequences of sky glow can be partly reduced. The results of this research may be equally useful for lighting engineers, architects, biologists and researchers who are studying the effects of sky glow on humans and biodiversity.

  7. Light pollution in ultraviolet and visible spectrum: effect on different visual perceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano Lamphar, Héctor Antonio; Kocifaj, Miroslav

    2013-01-01

    In general terms, lighting research has been focused in the development of artificial light with the purpose of saving energy and having more durable lamps. However, the consequences that artificial night lighting could bring to the human being and living organisms have become an important issue recently. Light pollution represents a significant problem to both the environment and human health causing a disruption of biological rhythms related not only to the visible spectrum, but also to other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Since the lamps emit across a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, all photobiological species may be exposed to another type of light pollution. By comparing five different lamps, the present study attempts to evaluate UV radiative fluxes relative to what humans and two species of insects perceive as sky glow level. We have analyzed three atmospheric situations: clear sky, overcast sky and evolving precipitable water content. One important finding suggests that when a constant illuminance of urban spaces has to be guaranteed the sky glow from the low pressure sodium lamps has the most significant effect to the visual perception of the insects tested. But having the fixed number of luminaires the situation changes and the low pressure sodium lamp would be the best choice for all three species. The sky glow effects can be interpreted correctly only if the lamp types and the required amount of scotopic luxes at the ground are taken into account simultaneously. If these two factors are combined properly, then the ecological consequences of sky glow can be partly reduced. The results of this research may be equally useful for lighting engineers, architects, biologists and researchers who are studying the effects of sky glow on humans and biodiversity.

  8. The great canoes in the sky starlore and astronomy of the South Pacific

    CERN Document Server

    Chadwick, Stephen Robert

    2017-01-01

    Presenting spectacular photographs of astronomical objects of the southern sky, all taken by author Stephen Chadwick, this book explores what peoples of the South Pacific see when they look up at the heavens and what they have done with this knowledge. From wives killing brothers to emus rising out of the desert and great canoes in the sky, this book offers the perfect blend of science, tradition and mythology to bring to life the most famous sights in the heavens above the southern hemisphere. The authors place this starlore in the context of contemporary understandings of astronomy. The night sky of southern societies is as rich in culture as it is in stars. Stories, myths and legends based on constellations, heavenly bodies and other night sky phenomena have played a fundamental role in shaping the culture of pre-modern civilizations throughout the world. Such starlore continues to influence societies throughout the Pacific to this day, with cultures throughout the region – from Australia and New Zealand...

  9. Measurement and modelling of radiation transmission within a stand of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berbigier, P.; Bonnefond, J.M.

    1995-01-01

    A semi-empirical model of radiation penetration in a maritime pine canopy was developed so that mean solar (and net) radiation absorption by crowns and understorey could be estimated from above-canopy measurements only. Beam radiation Rb was assumed to penetrate the canopy according to Beer's law with an extinction coefficient of 0.32; this figure was found using non-linear regression techniques. For diffuse sky radiation, Beer's law was integrated over the sky vault assuming a SOC (standard overcast sky) luminance model; the upward and downward scattered radiative fluxes were obtained using the Kubelka-Munk equations and measurements of needle transmittance and reflectance. The penetration of net radiation within the canopy was also modelled. The model predicts the measured albedo of the stand very well. The estimation of solar radiation transmitted by the canopy was also satisfactory with the maximum difference between this and the mean output of mobile sensors at ground level being only 18 W m -2 . Due to the poor precision of net radiometers, the net radiation model could not be tested critically. However, as the modelled longwave radiation balance under the canopy is always between -10 and -20 Wm -2 , the below-canopy net radiation must be very close to the solar radiation balance. (author) [fr

  10. SED16 autonomous star tracker night sky testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foisneau, Thierry; Piriou, Véronique; Perrimon, Nicolas; Jacob, Philippe; Blarre, Ludovic; Vilaire, Didier

    2017-11-01

    The SED16 is an autonomous multi-missions star tracker which delivers three axis satellite attitude in an inertial reference frame and the satellite angular velocity with no prior information. The qualification process of this star sensor includes five validation steps using optical star simulator, digitized image simulator and a night sky tests setup. The night sky testing was the final step of the qualification process during which all the functions of the star tracker were used in almost nominal conditions : Autonomous Acquisition of the attitude, Autonomous Tracking of ten stars. These tests were performed in Calern in the premises of the OCA (Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur). The test set-up and the test results are described after a brief review of the sensor main characteristics and qualification process.

  11. DESCQA: Synthetic Sky Catalog Validation Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Yao-Yuan; Uram, Thomas D.; Zhou, Rongpu; Kovacs, Eve; Ricker, Paul M.; Kalmbach, J. Bryce; Padilla, Nelson; Lanusse, François; Zu, Ying; Tenneti, Ananth; Vikraman, Vinu; DeRose, Joseph

    2018-04-01

    The DESCQA framework provides rigorous validation protocols for assessing the quality of high-quality simulated sky catalogs in a straightforward and comprehensive way. DESCQA enables the inspection, validation, and comparison of an inhomogeneous set of synthetic catalogs via the provision of a common interface within an automated framework. An interactive web interface is also available at portal.nersc.gov/project/lsst/descqa.

  12. Comparison of the observed and calculated clear sky greenhouse effect - Implications for climate studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiehl, J. T.; Briegleb, B. P.

    1992-01-01

    The clear sky greenhouse effect is defined in terms of the outgoing longwave clear sky flux at the top of the atmosphere. Recently, interest in the magnitude of the clear sky greenhouse effect has increased due to the archiving of the clear sky flux quantity through the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE). The present study investigates to what degree of accuracy this flux can be analyzed by using independent atmospheric and surface data in conjunction with a detailed longwave radiation model. The conclusion from this comparison is that for most regions over oceans the analyzed fluxes agree to within the accuracy of the ERBE-retrieved fluxes (+/- 5 W/sq m). However, in regions where deep convective activity occurs, the ERBE fluxes are significantly higher (10-15 W/sq m) than the calculated fluxes. This bias can arise from either cloud contamination problems or variability in water vapor amount. It is argued that the use of analyzed fluxes may provide a more consistent clear sky flux data set for general circulation modeling validation. Climate implications from the analyzed fluxes are explored. Finally, results for obtaining longwave surface fluxes over the oceans are presented.

  13. THE MILKY WAY TOMOGRAPHY WITH SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY. IV. DISSECTING DUST

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berry, Michael; Ivezić, Željko; Brooks, Keira J.; Gibson, Robert R.; Jones, Lynne; Yoachim, Peter; Krughoff, Simon; Connolly, Andrew J.; Loebman, Sarah; Sesar, Branimir; Jurić, Mario; Schlafly, Edward F.; Finkbeiner, Douglas; Bellovary, Jillian; Vrbanec, Dijana; Beers, Timothy C.; Schneider, Donald P.; Kimball, Amy; Bond, Nicholas A.; Schlegel, David

    2012-01-01

    We use Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) photometry of 73 million stars to simultaneously constrain best-fit main-sequence stellar spectral energy distribution (SED) and amount of dust extinction along the line of sight toward each star. Using a subsample of 23 million stars with Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) photometry, whose addition enables more robust results, we show that SDSS photometry alone is sufficient to break degeneracies between intrinsic stellar color and dust amount when the shape of extinction curve is fixed. When using both SDSS and 2MASS photometry, the ratio of the total to selective absorption, R V , can be determined with an uncertainty of about 0.1 for most stars in high-extinction regions. These fits enable detailed studies of the dust properties and its spatial distribution, and of the stellar spatial distribution at low Galactic latitudes (|b| V = 3.0 ± 0.1(random)±0.1 (systematic) over most of the high-latitude sky. At low Galactic latitudes (|b| V and find that R V = 3.1 cannot be ruled out in any of the 10 SEGUE stripes at a precision level of ∼0.1-0.2. Our best estimate for the intrinsic scatter of R V in the regions probed by SEGUE stripes is ∼0.2. We introduce a method for efficient selection of candidate red giant stars in the disk, dubbed 'dusty parallax relation', which utilizes a correlation between distance and the extinction along the line of sight. We make these best-fit parameters, as well as all the input SDSS and 2MASS data, publicly available in a user-friendly format. These data can be used for studies of stellar number density distribution, the distribution of dust properties, for selecting sources whose SED differs from SEDs for high-latitude main-sequence stars, and for estimating distances to dust clouds and, in turn, to molecular gas clouds.

  14. Analýza sortimentu firmy SkyTech Corporation s.r.o.

    OpenAIRE

    Dvořáková, Šárka

    2017-01-01

    This thesis focuses on small company SkyTech Corporation s.r.o, which distributes products from the field of cosmetic, decorative cosmetic, cosmetic accessories and make-up brushes. The first part is theoretical and serves as basis for elaboration of the practical part. Theoretical part focus on marketing mix, competition, assortment and analysis connected with them. In practical part SkyTech Corporaton s.r.o. is introduced. Than follows the evaluation of individual brands and their roles in ...

  15. Advertising Citizen Science: A Trailer for the Citizen Sky Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Ryan; Price, A.

    2012-01-01

    Citizen Sky is a multi-year, NSF funded citizen science project involving the bright and mysterious variable star epsilon Aurigae. The project was conceived by the IYA 2009 working group on Research Experiences for Students, Teachers, and Citizen-Scientists. Citizen Sky goes beyond simple observing to include a major data analysis component, introducing participants to the full scientific process from background research to paper writing for a peer-reviewed journal. As a means of generating interest in the project, the California Academy of Sciences produced a six-minute "trailer” formatted for both traditional and fulldome planetariums as well as HD and web applications. This talk will review the production process for the trailer as well as the methods of distribution via planetariums, social media, and other venues_along with an update on the Citizen Sky Project as a whole. We will show how to use a small, professionally-produced planetarium trailer to help spread word on a citizen science project. We will also show preliminary results on a study about how participation level/type in the project affects science learning.

  16. IMPROVED BACKGROUND SUBTRACTION FOR THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY IMAGES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanton, Michael R.; Kazin, Eyal; Muna, Demitri; Weaver, Benjamin A.; Price-Whelan, Adrian

    2011-01-01

    We describe a procedure for background subtracting Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) imaging that improves the resulting detection and photometry of large galaxies on the sky. Within each SDSS drift scan run, we mask out detected sources and then fit a smooth function to the variation of the sky background. This procedure has been applied to all SDSS-III Data Release 8 images, and the results are available as part of that data set. We have tested the effect of our background subtraction on the photometry of large galaxies by inserting fake galaxies into the raw pixels, reanalyzing the data, and measuring them after background subtraction. Our technique results in no size-dependent bias in galaxy fluxes up to half-light radii r 50 ∼ 100 arcsec; in contrast, for galaxies of that size the standard SDSS photometric catalog underestimates fluxes by about 1.5 mag. Our results represent a substantial improvement over the standard SDSS catalog results and should form the basis of any analysis of nearby galaxies using the SDSS imaging data.

  17. Alaskan Auroral All-Sky Images on the World Wide Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenbaek-Nielsen, H. C.

    1997-01-01

    In response to a 1995 NASA SPDS announcement of support for preservation and distribution of important data sets online, the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska, proposed to provide World Wide Web access to the Poker Flat Auroral All-sky Camera images in real time. The Poker auroral all-sky camera is located in the Davis Science Operation Center at Poker Flat Rocket Range about 30 miles north-east of Fairbanks, Alaska, and is connected, through a microwave link, with the Geophysical Institute where we maintain the data base linked to the Web. To protect the low light-level all-sky TV camera from damage due to excessive light, we only operate during the winter season when the moon is down. The camera and data acquisition is now fully computer controlled. Digital images are transmitted each minute to the Web linked data base where the data are available in a number of different presentations: (1) Individual JPEG compressed images (1 minute resolution); (2) Time lapse MPEG movie of the stored images; and (3) A meridional plot of the entire night activity.

  18. The red-sky enigma over Svalbard in December 2002

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Sigernes

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available On 6 December 2002, during winter darkness, an extraordinary event occurred in the sky, as viewed from Longyearbyen (78° N, 15° E, Svalbard, Norway. At 07:30 UT the southeast sky was surprisingly lit up in a deep red colour. The light increased in intensity and spread out across the sky, and at 10:00 UT the illumination was observed to reach the zenith. The event died out at about 12:30 UT. Spectral measurements from the Auroral Station in Adventdalen confirm that the light was scattered sunlight. Even though the Sun was between 11.8 and 14.6deg below the horizon during the event, the measured intensities of scattered light on the southern horizon from the scanning photometers coincided with the rise and setting of the Sun. Calculations of actual heights, including refraction and atmospheric screening, indicate that the event most likely was scattered solar light from a target below the horizon. This is also confirmed by the OSIRIS instrument on board the Odin satellite. The deduced height profile indicates that the scattering target is located 18–23km up in the stratosphere at a latitude close to 73–75° N, southeast of Longyearbyen. The temperatures in this region were found to be low enough for Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC to be formed. The target was also identified as PSC by the LIDAR systems at the Koldewey Station in Ny-Ålesund (79° N, 12° E. The event was most likely caused by solar illuminated type II Polar Stratospheric Clouds that scattered light towards Svalbard. Two types of scenarios are presented to explain how light is scattered. Keywords. Atmospheric composition and structure (Transmissions and scattering of radiation; Middle atmospherecomposition and chemistry; Instruments and techniques – History of geophysics (Atmospheric Sciences; The red-sky phenomena

  19. A VIRTUAL SKY WITH EXTRAGALACTIC H I AND CO LINES FOR THE SQUARE KILOMETRE ARRAY AND THE ATACAMA LARGE MILLIMETER/SUBMILLIMETER ARRAY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Obreschkow, D.; Kloeckner, H.-R.; Heywood, I.; Rawlings, S.; Levrier, F.

    2009-01-01

    We present a sky simulation of the atomic H I-emission line and the first 10 12 C 16 O rotational emission lines of molecular gas in galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The simulated sky field has a comoving diameter of 500 h -1 Mpc; hence, the actual field of view depends on the (user-defined) maximal redshift z max ; e.g., for z max = 10, the field of view yields ∼4 x 4 deg 2 . For all galaxies, we estimate the line fluxes, line profiles, and angular sizes of the H I and CO-emission lines. The galaxy sample is complete for galaxies with cold hydrogen masses above 10 8 M sun . This sky simulation builds on a semi-analytic model of the cosmic evolution of galaxies in a Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) cosmology. The evolving CDM distribution was adopted from the Millennium Simulation, an N-body CDM simulation in a cubic box with a side length of 500 h -1 Mpc. This side length limits the coherence scale of our sky simulation: it is long enough to allow the extraction of the baryon acoustic oscillations in the galaxy power spectrum, yet the position and amplitude of the first acoustic peak will be imperfectly defined. This sky simulation is a tangible aid to the design and operation of future telescopes, such as the Square Kilometre Array, Large Millimeter Telescope, and Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array. The results presented in this paper have been restricted to a graphical representation of the simulated sky and fundamental dN/dz analyses for peak flux density limited and total flux limited surveys of H I and CO. A key prediction is that H I will be harder to detect at redshifts z ∼> 2 than predicted by a no-evolution model. The future verification or falsification of this prediction will allow us to qualify the semi-analytic models.

  20. Intercomparisons of nine sky brightness detectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Outer, Peter; Lolkema, Dorien; Haaima, Marty; van der Hoff, Rene; Spoelstra, Henk; Schmidt, Wim

    2011-01-01

    Nine Sky Quality Meters (SQMs) have been intercompared during a night time measurement campaign held in the Netherlands in April 2011. Since then the nine SQMs have been distributed across The Netherlands and form the Dutch network for monitoring night sky brightness. The goal of the intercomparison was to infer mutual calibration factors and obtain insight into the variability of the SQMs under different meteorological situations. An ensemble average is built from the individual measurements and used as a reference to infer the mutual calibration factors. Data required additional synchronization prior to the calibration determination, because the effect of moving clouds combined with small misalignments emerges as time jitter in the measurements. Initial scatter of the individual instruments lies between ±14%. Individual night time sums range from -16% to +20%. Intercalibration reduces this to 0.5%, and -7% to +9%, respectively. During the campaign the smallest luminance measured was 0.657 ± 0.003 mcd/m(2) on 12 April, and the largest value was 5.94 ± 0.03 mcd/m(2) on 2 April. During both occurrences interfering circumstances like snow cover or moonlight were absent.

  1. Intercomparisons of Nine Sky Brightness Detectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henk Spoelstra

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Nine Sky Quality Meters (SQMs have been intercompared during a night time measurement campaign held in the Netherlands in April 2011. Since then the nine SQMs have been distributed across the Netherlands and form the Dutch network for monitoring night sky brightness. The goal of the intercomparison was to infer mutual calibration factors and obtain insight into the variability of the SQMs under different meteorological situations. An ensemble average is built from the individual measurements and used as a reference to infer the mutual calibration factors. Data required additional synchronization prior to the calibration determination, because the effect of moving clouds combined with small misalignments emerges as time jitter in the measurements. Initial scatter of the individual instruments lies between ±14%. Individual night time sums range from −16% to +20%. Intercalibration reduces this to 0.5%, and −7% to +9%, respectively. During the campaign the smallest luminance measured was 0.657 ± 0.003 mcd/m2 on 12 April, and the largest value was 5.94 ± 0.03 mcd/m2 on 2 April. During both occurrences interfering circumstances like snow cover or moonlight were absent.

  2. Heat balance characteristics and water use efficiency of soybean community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Y.S.; Im, J.N.

    1990-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to study seasonal evapotranspiration above soybean canopy and its relationship with dry matter production by the Bowen ratio-energy balance method. The soybean ''Paldalkong'' was sown with the space of 40 * 10 cm at Suwon on May 27, 1988. The daily net radiation ranged from 59 to 76 percents of the total shortwave radiation under cloudless conditions, which was lower than cloud overcast condition with record 63 to 83 percents. The latent heat flux under overcast condition was sometimes larger than the sum of net radiation, implying transportation of energy by advection of ambient air

  3. The Effects of Lamp Spectral Distribution on Sky Glow over Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    overhead sky glow as a function of distance up to 300 km, from a variety of lamp types, including common gas discharge lamps and several types of LED...distance up to 300 km, from a variety of lamp types, in- cluding common gas discharge lamps and several types of LED lamps . We conclude for both...MAR 2015 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2015 to 00-00-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE The Effects of Lamp Spectral Distribution on Sky Glow

  4. The urban astronomer's guide a walking tour of the cosmos for city sky watchers

    CERN Document Server

    Mollise, Rod

    2006-01-01

    This book covers the "why," "how," and "what" of astronomy under light-polluted skies. It is aimed at urban astronomers and showcases the countless objects - galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters - that can be seen in even in heavily light polluted urban skies.

  5. Can You See the Stars? Citizen-Science Programs to Measure Night Sky Brightness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.

    2009-05-01

    For the IYA2009 Dark Skies Awareness Cornerstone Project, partners in dark-sky, astronomy and environmental education are promoting three citizen-scientist programs that measure light pollution at local levels worldwide. These programs take the form of "star hunts", providing people with fun and direct ways to acquire heightened awareness about light pollution through first-hand observations of the night sky. Together the programs are spanning the entire IYA, namely: GLOBE at Night in March, Great World Wide Star Count in October, and How Many Stars during the rest of the year. Citizen-scientists - students, educators, amateur astronomers and the general public - measure the darkness of their local skies and contribute observations online to a world map. Anyone anywhere anytime can look within particular constellations for the faintest stars and match them to one of seven star maps. For more precise measurements, digital sky-brightness meters can be used. Measurements, along with the measurement location, time, and date, are submitted online, and within a few days to weeks a world map showing results is available. These measurements can be compared with data from previous years, as well as with satellite data, population densities, and electrical power-usage maps. Measurements are available online via Google Earth or other tools and as downloadable datasets. Data from multiple locations in one city or region are especially interesting, and can be used as the basis of a class project or science fair experiment, or even to inform the development of public policy. In the last few years these programs successfully conducted campaigns in which more than 35,000 observations were submitted from over 100 countries. The presentation will provide an update, describe how people can become involved and take a look ahead at the program's sustainability. For further information about these and other Dark Skies Awareness programs, please visit www.darkskiesawareness.org.

  6. Impact of atmospheric components on solar clear-sky models at different elevation: Case study Canary Islands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antonanzas-Torres, F.; Antonanzas, J.; Urraca, R.; Alia-Martinez, M.; Martinez-de-Pison, F.J.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Assessment on the performance of solar clear-sky models at different altitude. • SOLIS and REST2 clear-sky models were superior with fine atmospheric inputs. • ESRA proved more robust with low spatial resolution atmospheric inputs. • Over-estimation occurred at the lower site when using inputs from the upper site. - Abstract: The estimation of clear-sky solar irradiance via clear-sky models depends on reliable values of aerosol optical depth, water vapor and ozone content. These atmospheric variables are rarely on-site measured and are generally provided as gridded estimates in very low spatial resolution (1°). The high spatial variability of atmospheric variables within the grid resolution (pixel) leads to important errors in those areas with great atmospheric variability, such as in mountainous regions. In this paper, the performance of three clear-sky solar irradiance models was evaluated in a site with especially great elevation range, the Izana station from the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (Tenerife, Canary Islands) located at a high elevation (2373 m) and just 14 km from the ocean. Aerosols data were obtained from measurements from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) at the same site. The evaluation was also compared with global horizontal irradiance estimations with clear-sky models in the Guimar station, located at a lower elevation (156 m) and only 11.5 km away from Izana. Results showed a strong influence of elevation on solar radiation estimation under clear-sky conditions.

  7. The GMRT 150 MHz all-sky radio survey. First alternative data release TGSS ADR1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Intema, H. T.; Jagannathan, P.; Mooley, K. P.; Frail, D. A.

    2017-02-01

    We present the first full release of a survey of the 150 MHz radio sky, observed with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) between April 2010 and March 2012 as part of the TIFR GMRT Sky Survey (TGSS) project. Aimed at producing a reliable compact source survey, our automated data reduction pipeline efficiently processed more than 2000 h of observations with minimal human interaction. Through application of innovative techniques such as image-based flagging, direction-dependent calibration of ionospheric phase errors, correcting for systematic offsets in antenna pointing, and improving the primary beam model, we created good quality images for over 95 percent of the 5336 pointings. Our data release covers 36 900 deg2 (or 3.6 π steradians) of the sky between -53° and +90° declination (Dec), which is 90 percent of the total sky. The majority of pointing images have a noise level below 5 mJy beam-1 with an approximate resolution of 25''×25'' (or 25''×25''/ cos(Dec-19°) for pointings south of 19° declination). We have produced a catalog of 0.62 Million radio sources derived from an initial, high reliability source extraction at the seven sigma level. For the bulk of the survey, the measured overall astrometric accuracy is better than two arcseconds in right ascension and declination, while the flux density accuracy is estimated at approximately ten percent. Within the scope of the TGSS alternative data release (TGSS ADR) project, the source catalog, as well as 5336 mosaic images (5°×5°) and an image cutout service, are made publicly available at the CDS as a service to the astronomical community. Next to enabling a wide range of different scientific investigations, we anticipate that these survey products will provide a solid reference for various new low-frequency radio aperture array telescopes (LOFAR, LWA, MWA, SKA-low), and can play an important role in characterizing the epoch-of-reionisation (EoR) foreground. The TGSS ADR project aims at

  8. Promoting Dark Skies Awareness Programs Beyond the International Year of Astronomy 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.; Dark Skies Working Group

    2010-01-01

    The preservation of dark skies is a growing global concern, yet it is one of the easiest environmental problems people can address on local levels. For this reason, the goal of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) Dark Skies Awareness Cornerstone Project is to raise public awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on local environments by getting people worldwide involved in a variety of programs. These programs provide resources on light pollution for new technologies like a presence in Second Life and podcasts, for local thematic events at national parks and observatory open houses, for international thematic events like International Dark Skies Week and Earth Hour, for a program in the arts like an international photo contest, for global citizen-science programs that measure night sky brightness worldwide, and for educational materials like a kit with a light shielding demonstration. These programs have been successfully used around the world during IYA2009 to raise awareness of the effects of light pollution on public health, economic issues, ecological consequences, energy conservation, safety and security, and astronomy. The poster will provide an update, take a look ahead at the project's sustainability, and describe how people can be involved in the future. Information about the programs is at www.darkskiesawareness.org.

  9. Sky Compass Orientation in Desert Locusts-Evidence from Field and Laboratory Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homberg, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Locusts are long-range migratory insects. At high population density, immature animals form marching hopper bands while adults take off and form huge swarms of millions of animals. At low population densities animals are solitarious, but likewise migrate, mostly during the night. Numerous studies aimed at predicting locust infestations showed that migrations both as hopper bands and as adults are largely downwind following seasonal shifts of the tropical convergence zone taking the animals to areas of rainfall. Only a few studies provided evidence for active orientation mechanisms, including the involvement of a sun compass. This scarcity of evidence stands in contrast to recent neurobiological data showing sophisticated neuronal adaptations suited for sky compass navigation. These include a special dorsal eye region with photoreceptors suited to analyze the polarization pattern of the sky and a system of topographically arranged sky compass neurons in the central complex of the brain. Laboratory experiments, moreover, demonstrated polarotaxis in tethered flying animals. The discrepancy of these findings call for more rigorous field studies on active orientation mechanisms in locusts. It remains to be shown how locusts use their internal sky compass during mass migrations and what role it plays to guide solitarious locusts in their natural habitat.

  10. Atmospheric extinction coefficients and night sky brightness at the Xuyi Observation Station

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Hui-Hua; Liu Xiao-Wei; Zhang Hua-Wei; Xiang Mao-Sheng; Yuan Hai-Bo; Zhao Hai-Bin; Yao Jin-Sheng

    2013-01-01

    We present measurements of the optical broadband atmospheric extinction coefficients and the night sky brightness at the Xuyi Observation Station of Purple Mountain Observatory. The measurements are based on CCD imaging data taken in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's g, r and i bands with the Xuyi 1.04/1.20 m Schmidt Telescope for the Xuyi Schmidt Telescope Photometric Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (XSTPS-GAC), the photometric part of the Digital Sky Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (DSS-GAC). The data were collected during more than 140 winter nights from 2009 to 2011. We find that the atmospheric extinction coefficients for the g, r and i bands are 0.69, 0.55 and 0.38 mag/airmass, respectively, based on observations taken on several photometric nights. The night sky brightness determined from images with good quality has median values of 21.7, 20.8 and 20.0 mag arcsec −2 and reaches 22.1, 21.2 and 20.4 mag arcsec −2 under the best observing conditions for the g, r and i bands, respectively. The relatively large extinction coefficients compared with other good astronomical observing sites are mainly due to the relatively low elevation (i.e. 180 m) and high humidity at the station.

  11. Starry sky sign: A prevalent sonographic finding in mediastinal tuberculous lymph nodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alici, Ibrahim Onur; Demirci, Nilg N Yilmaz; Yilmaz, Aydin; Karakaya, Jale; Erdogan, Yurdanur

    2015-01-01

    We report a prevalent finding in tuberculous lymphadenitis (TL): Starry sky sign, hyperechoic foci without acoustic shadows over a hypoechoic background. We retrospectively searched the database for a possible relationship of starry sky sign with a specific diagnosis and also the prevalence and accuracy of the finding. Starry sky sign was found in 16 of 31 tuberculous lymph nodes, while none of other lymph nodes (1,015 lymph nodes) exhibited this finding; giving a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy of 51.6%, 100%, 100%, 98.5%, and 98.5%, respectively. Bacteriologic and histologic findings are gold standard in the diagnosis of tuberculosis, but this finding may guide the bronchoscopist in choosing the more pathologic node within a station and increase the diagnostic yield as it may relate to actively dividing mycobacteria.

  12. Maritime Aerosol optical properties measured by ship-borne sky radiometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, K.

    2017-12-01

    Maritime aerosols play an important role in the earth climate change. We started the measurements of aerosol optical properties since 1994 by using ship-borne sky radiometer (POM-01 MK-II and III; Prede Co. Ltd., Japan) over the ocean. We report the results of an aerosol optical properties over the ocean by using Research Vessel of the ship-borne sky radiometers. Aerosol optical properties observation were made in MR10-02 to MR16-09 onboard the R/V Mirai, JAMSTEC. The sky radiometer measure the direct and diffuse solar radiance with seven interference filters (0.315, 0.4, 0.5, 0.675, 0.87, 0.94, and 1.02 µm). Observation interval was made every five minutes by once, only in daytime under the clear sky conditions. GPS provides the position with longitude and latitude and heading direction of the vessel, and azimuth and elevation angle of the sun. The aerosol optical properties were computed using the SKYRAD.pack version 4.2. The obtained Aerosol optical properties (Aerosol optical thickness, Ångström exponent, Single scattering albedo, and etc.) and size distribution volume clearly showed spatial and temporal variability over the ocean. Aerosol optical thickness found over the near the coast (Asia and Tropical area) was high and variable. The size distribution volume have peaks at small particles at Asian coast and large particles at Tropical coast area. We provide the information, in this presentation, on the aerosol optical properties measurements with temporal and spatial variability in the Maritime Aerosol. This project is validation satellite of GCOM-C/SGLI, JAXA and other. The GCOM-C satellite scheduled to be launched in 2017 JFY.

  13. Stellar activity for every TESS star in the Southern sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Ward S.; Law, Nicholas; Fors, Octavi; Corbett, Henry T.; Ratzloff, Jeff; del Ser, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    Although TESS will search for Earths around more than 200,000 nearby stars, the life-impacting superflare occurrence of these stars remains poorly characterized. We monitor long-term stellar flare occurrence for every TESS star in the accessible sky at 2-minute cadence with the CTIO-based Evryscope, a combination of twenty-four telescopes, together giving instantaneous sky coverage of 8000 square degrees. In collaboration with Owens Valley Long Wavelength Array (LWA) all-sky monitoring, Evryscope also provides optical counterparts to radio flare, CME, and exoplanet-magnetosphere stellar activity searches. A Northern Evryscope will be installed at Mount Laguna Observatory, CA in collaboration with SDSU later this year, enabling stellar activity characterization for the full TESS target list and both continuous viewing zones, as well as providing 100% overlap with LWA radio activity. Targets of interest (e.g. Proxima Cen, TRAPPIST-1) are given special focus. We are currently sensitive to stellar activity down to 1% precision at g' ~ 10 and about 0.2 of a magnitude at g' ~ 15. With 2-minute cadence and a projected 5-year timeline, with 2+ years already recorded, we present preliminary results from an activity characterization of every Southern TESS target.

  14. Petyarre and Moffat: 'Looking from the Sky'

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linnell Secomb

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Moffatt’s Up in the Sky series draws attention to the relation between sky and earth, through the content and camera angles of the images. Similarly, Kathleen Petyarre’s Central Desert acrylic dot painting evokes this relation representing country and Dreaming from a celestial perspective—as she says ‘looking from the sky’. Yet here any association between these artists seems to end with the urban artist refusing to engage Aboriginal tradition and the desert artist focused on Dreaming, country and heritage. However, a further connection between these disparate works may also be discerned as each, in differing ways, transforms our conventional perceptions of space and time. Reading these images in relation to Walter Benjamin’s concepts of the auratic and of messianic time, I suggest that each restructures dimension and duration putting in question the (postmodern calibrations of our space/time experience. This paper stages an engagement between these artists’ works and Benjamin’s concepts exploring the variations and modifications of the spatial and the temporal that hybrid cross-cultural exchanges require and facilitate.

  15. New gridded database of clear-sky solar radiation derived from ground-based observations over Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartok, Blanka; Wild, Martin; Sanchez-Lorenzo, Arturo; Hakuba, Maria Z.

    2017-04-01

    Since aerosols modify the entire energy balance of the climate system through different processes, assessments regarding aerosol multiannual variability are highly required by the climate modelling community. Because of the scarcity of long-term direct aerosol measurements, the retrieval of aerosol data/information from other type of observations or satellite measurements are very relevant. One approach frequently used in the literature is analyze of the clear-sky solar radiation which offer a better overview of changes in aerosol content. In the study first two empirical methods are elaborated in order to separate clear-sky situations from observed values of surface solar radiation available at the World Radiation Data Center (WRDC), St. Petersburg. The daily data has been checked for temporal homogeneity by applying the MASH method (Szentimrey, 2003). In the first approach, clear sky situations are detected based on clearness index, namely the ratio of the surface solar radiation to the extraterrestrial solar irradiation. In the second approach the observed values of surface solar radiation are compared to the climatology of clear-sky surface solar radiation calculated by the MAGIC radiation code (Muller et al. 2009). In both approaches the clear-sky radiation values highly depend on the applied thresholds. In order to eliminate this methodological error a verification of clear-sky detection is envisaged through a comparison with the values obtained by a high time resolution clear-sky detection and interpolation algorithm (Long and Ackermann, 2000) making use of the high quality data from the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN). As the consequences clear-sky data series are obtained for 118 European meteorological stations. Next a first attempt has been done in order to interpolate the point-wise clear-sky radiation data by applying the MISH (Meteorological Interpolation based on Surface Homogenized Data Basis) method for the spatial interpolation of

  16. Cloud and radiance measurements with the VIS/NIR Daylight Whole Sky Imager at Lindenberg (Germany)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feister, U. [Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteorologisches Observatorium Lindenberg (Germany); Shields, J. [Scripps Inst. of Oceanography, Univ. of California, San Diego (United States)

    2005-10-01

    Ground-based cloud data acquired with the whole sky imager (WSI) are analyzed in relation to measurements of solar radiation performed at the Lindenberg Meteorological Observatory. Cloud fractions derived by the cloud detection algorithm from WSI images acquired during daylight hours between 2002 and 2004 are compared with conventional cloud observations for the two sites Potsdam and Lindenberg, and also with ceilometer data of cloud-base heights at Lindenberg. The comparison statistics are discussed in the context of different principles of measurement. A few case studies illustrate the strong scattering effect of clouds on solar radiance and irradiance measured at the ground in different spectral regions. Particularly clouds close to the apparent position of the sun lead to strong enhancements of solar diffuse irradiance incident on horizontal planes and hemispheres that substantially exceed corresponding clear-sky values. Irradiances derived from WSI sky radiance fields are shown in comparison to pyranometer data of diffuse irradiance and radiative transfer model calculations performed for clear sky conditions. Examples of spectral sky radiances with moving contrails illustrate the significant enhancement the contrails have compared to clear sky, even though they may have a relatively small direct effect on global irradiance values. As contrails are observed at Lindenberg for about 18 to 19% of daylight hours, and part of them become clouds, the indirect impact of these changes on solar irradiance received at the ground may not be negligible. (orig.)

  17. Effects of multiple scattering and atmospheric aerosol on the polarization of the twilight sky

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ugolnikov, Oleg S.; Postylyakov, Oleg V.; Maslov, Igor A.

    2004-01-01

    The paper presents a review of a number of wide-angle polarization CCD-measurements of the twilight sky in V and R color bands with effective wavelengths 550 and 700nm. The basic factors affecting (usually decreasing) the polarization of the twilight sky are the atmospheric aerosol scattering and multiple scattering. These effects were distinguished from each other, and a method of multiple-scattering separation is discussed. The results are compared with the data of numerical simulation of radiative transfer in the atmosphere for different aerosol models. The whole twilight period is divided into different stages with different mechanisms forming the twilight-sky polarization properties

  18. Flying Drosophila orient to sky polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Peter T; Dickinson, Michael H

    2012-01-10

    Insects maintain a constant bearing across a wide range of spatial scales. Monarch butterflies and locusts traverse continents [1, 2], and foraging bees and ants travel hundreds of meters to return to their nests [1, 3, 4], whereas many other insects fly straight for only a few centimeters before changing direction. Despite this variation in spatial scale, the brain region thought to underlie long-distance navigation is remarkably conserved [5, 6], suggesting that the use of a celestial compass is a general and perhaps ancient capability of insects. Laboratory studies of Drosophila have identified a local search mode in which short, straight segments are interspersed with rapid turns [7, 8]. However, this flight mode is inconsistent with measured gene flow between geographically separated populations [9-11], and individual Drosophila can travel 10 km across desert terrain in a single night [9, 12, 13]-a feat that would be impossible without prolonged periods of straight flight. To directly examine orientation behavior under outdoor conditions, we built a portable flight arena in which a fly viewed the natural sky through a liquid crystal device that could experimentally rotate the polarization angle. Our findings indicate that Drosophila actively orient using the sky's natural polarization pattern. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Correction for reflected sky radiance in low-altitude coastal hyperspectral images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Minsu; Park, Joong Yong; Kopilevich, Yuri; Tuell, Grady; Philpot, William

    2013-11-10

    Low-altitude coastal hyperspectral imagery is sensitive to reflections of sky radiance at the water surface. Even in the absence of sun glint, and for a calm water surface, the wide range of viewing angles may result in pronounced, low-frequency variations of the reflected sky radiance across the scan line depending on the solar position. The variation in reflected sky radiance can be obscured by strong high-spatial-frequency sun glint and at high altitude by path radiance. However, at low altitudes, the low-spatial-frequency sky radiance effect is frequently significant and is not removed effectively by the typical corrections for sun glint. The reflected sky radiance from the water surface observed by a low-altitude sensor can be modeled in the first approximation as the sum of multiple-scattered Rayleigh path radiance and the single-scattered direct-solar-beam radiance by the aerosol in the lower atmosphere. The path radiance from zenith to the half field of view (FOV) of a typical airborne spectroradiometer has relatively minimal variation and its reflected radiance to detector array results in a flat base. Therefore the along-track variation is mostly contributed by the forward single-scattered solar-beam radiance. The scattered solar-beam radiances arrive at the water surface with different incident angles. Thus the reflected radiance received at the detector array corresponds to a certain scattering angle, and its variation is most effectively parameterized using the downward scattering angle (DSA) of the solar beam. Computation of the DSA must account for the roll, pitch, and heading of the platform and the viewing geometry of the sensor along with the solar ephemeris. Once the DSA image is calculated, the near-infrared (NIR) radiance from selected water scan lines are compared, and a relationship between DSA and NIR radiance is derived. We then apply the relationship to the entire DSA image to create an NIR reference image. Using the NIR reference image

  20. Why Is the Sky Dark at Night?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinner, Arthur

    2014-01-01

    The puzzle as to just why the sky is dark at night, given that there are so many stars, has been around at least since Newton. This article summarizes six cosmological models that have been used to attempt to give an account of this puzzle including the Copernican universe, the Newton-Halley universe, the nineteenth century "one galaxy"…

  1. Responding to climate change impacts in the Sky Island Region: From planning to action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louise W. Misztal; Gregg Garfin; Lara Hansen

    2013-01-01

    Addressing the increasing effects of climate change on natural resources requires multiple organizations, agencies, and institutions working cooperatively to incorporate climate change into resource management. In the Sky Island region of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, Sky Island Alliance, a non-governmental organization, has convened a series of...

  2. New models to compute solar global hourly irradiation from point cloudiness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Badescu, Viorel; Dumitrescu, Alexandru

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Kasten–Czeplak cloudy sky model is tested under the climate of South-Eastern Europe. ► Very simple cloudy sky models based on atmospheric transmission factors. ► Transmission factors are nonlinear functions of the cosine of zenith angle. ► New models’ performance is good for low and intermediate cloudy skies. ► Models show good performance when applied in stations other than the origin station. - Abstract: The Kasten–Czeplak (KC) model [16] is tested against data measured in five meteorological stations covering the latitudes and longitudes of Romania (South-Eastern Europe). Generally, the KC cloudy sky model underestimates the measured values. Its performance is (marginally) good enough for point cloudiness C = 0–1. The performance is good for skies with few clouds (C < 0.3), good enough for skies with medium amount of clouds (C = 0.3–0.7) and poor on very cloudy and overcast skies. New very simple empirical cloudy sky models are proposed. They bring two novelties in respect to KC model. First, new basic clear sky models are used, which evaluate separately the direct and diffuse radiation, respectively. Second, some of the new models assume the atmospheric transmission factor is a nonlinear function of the cosine of zenith angle Z. The performance of the new models is generally better than that of the KC model, for all cloudiness classes. One class of models (called S4) has been further tested. The sub-model S4TOT has been obtained by fitting the generic model S4 to all available data, for all stations. Generally, S4TOT has good accuracy in all stations, for low and intermediate cloudy skies (C < 0.7). The accuracy of S4TOT is good and good enough at intermediate zenith angles (Z = 30–70°) but worse for small and larger zenith angles (Z = 0–30° and Z = 70–85°, respectively). Several S4 sub-models were tested in stations different from the origin station. Almost all sub-models have good or good enough performance for skies

  3. Post-Processing Resolution Enhancement of Open Skies Photographic Imagery

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sperl, Daniel

    2000-01-01

    ...), which manages implementation of the Open Skies Treaty for the US Air Force, wants to determine if post-processing of the photographic images can improve spatial resolution beyond 30 cm, and if so...

  4. All-sky radiance simulation of Megha-Tropiques SAPHIR microwave ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    used as input to the RTTOV model to simulate cloud-affected SAPHIR radiances. ... All-sky radiance simulation; Megha tropiques; microwave SAPHIR sensor; radiative transfer; data ... versions of these non-linear processes (Ohring and.

  5. Recent Characterization of the Night-Sky Irradiance in the Visible/Near-Infrared Spectral Band

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Carolynn; Wood, Michael; Bender, Edward; Hart, Steve

    2018-01-01

    The U.S. Army RDECOM CERDEC NVESD has made numerous characterizations of the night sky over the past 45 years. Up until the last four years, the measurement devices were highly detector-limited, which led to low spectral resolution, marginal sensitivity in no-moon conditions, and the need for inferential analysis of the resulting data. In 2014, however, the PhotoResearch Model PR-745 spectro-radiometer established a new state of the art for measurement of the integrated night-sky irradiance over the Visible-to-Near-Infrared (VNIR) spectral band (400-1050nm). This has enabled characterization of no-moon night-sky irradiance with a spectral bandwidth less than 15 nanometers, even when this irradiance is attenuated by heavy clouds or forest canopy. Since 2014, we have conducted a series of night-sky data collections at remote sites across the United States. The resulting data has provided new insights into natural radiance variations, cultural lighting impacts, and the spectrally-varying attenuation caused by cloud cover and forest canopy. Several new metrics have also been developed to provide insight into these newly-found components and temporal variations. The observations, findings and conclusions of the above efforts will be presented, including planned near-term efforts to further characterize the night-sky irradiance in the Visible/Near-Infrared spectral band.

  6. A new simple parameterization of daily clear-sky global solar radiation including horizon effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez, Gabriel; Javier Batlles, F.; Tovar-Pescador, Joaquin

    2007-01-01

    Estimation of clear-sky global solar radiation is usually an important previous stage for calculating global solar radiation under all sky conditions. This is, for instance, a common procedure to derive incoming solar radiation from remote sensing or by using digital elevation models. In this work, we present a new model to calculate daily values of clear-sky global solar irradiation. The main goal is the simple parameterization in terms of atmospheric temperature and relative humidity, Angstroem's turbidity coefficient, ground albedo and site elevation, including a factor to take into account horizon obstructions. This allows us to obtain estimates even though a free horizon is not present as is the case of mountainous locations. Comparisons of calculated daily values with measured data show that this model is able to provide a good level of accurate estimates using either daily or mean monthly values of the input parameters. This new model has also been shown to improve daily estimates against those obtained using the clear-sky model from the European Solar Radiation Atlas and other accurate parameterized daily irradiation models. The introduction of Angstroem's turbidity coefficient and ground albedo should allow us to use the increasing worldwide aerosol information available and to consider those sites affected by snow covers in an easy and fast way. In addition, the proposed model is intended to be a useful tool to select clear-sky conditions

  7. Piero della Francesca's Sky in The Dream of Constantine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valerio, V.

    2011-06-01

    The recent restoration of the frescoes by Piero della Francesca in the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo has made to appear on the background of the scene of Constantine's dream a number of stars. They are clearly painted with the intention to illustrate a sort of "natural" sky. In 2001 Anna Maria Maetzke recognized in a group of stars the constellation of the Ursa Minor, but so far no further study has been carried on to find any relation between the painted and the true sky. In this paper I show the existence of more constellations in the fresco, which are hardly detectable due to the mirror representation of the starry sky. Such a mirror image, as the Universe was seen from the outside, has a Greek origin and this kind of representation was introduced in Western Europe not only in celestial globes but also in star maps. This discovery leads to consider that Piero had at his disposal either a globe or a map which he reproduced on the fresco. My hypothesis is that a star map might be supplied to Piero by the astronomer Regiomontanus who was in Italy since 1461 following the Cardinal Bessarion in his journey from Wien to Rome. In 1463, Cardinal Bessarion was named papal legate to Venice and in July of the same year he leaved Rome together with Regiomontanus to reach Ferrara and Venice. The road to Venice crossed Umbria nearby Sansepolcro, Piero's birthplace not far from Arezzo. The trip took more than two weeks due to a stop before crossing the Apennines because the plague in Ferrara. Bessarion and Regiomontanus might have met Piero who was painting the cycle of frescoes in Arezzo and supplied him with a star map. Unfortunately, due to the lack of the horizon and any right line in the scene it is not possible to detect the latitude of the place corresponding to the painted sky.

  8. What's Up in the Atmosphere? Exploring How Aerosols Impact Sky Color Through Hands-on Activities with Elementary GLOBE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damadeo, K.; Taylor, J.

    2015-12-01

    What color is the sky today? The GLOBE Kids - Anita, Simon, and Dennis want to know why the sky isn't always the same shade of blue and sometimes isn't even blue. Through the new Elementary GLOBE Aerosols Storybook and Learning Activities, the GLOBE Kids learn that there's a lot more than air in the atmosphere, which can affect the colors we see in the sky. There are four hands-on activities in this unit: 1) Sky Observers - Students make observations of the sky, record their findings and share their observation reports with their peers. The activity promotes active observation and recording skills to help students observe sky color, and recognize that sky color changes; 2) Why (Not) So Blue? - Students make predictions about how drops of milk will affect color and visibility in cups of water representing the atmosphere to help them understand that aerosols in the atmosphere have an effect on sky conditions, including sky color and visibility. The activity also introduces the classification categories for daytime sky color and visibility; 3) See the Light - Students use prisms and glue sticks to explore the properties of light. The activity demonstrates that white light is made up of seven colors that represent different wavelengths, and illustrates why the sky is blue during the day and red at sunset; 4) Up in the Air - Students work in groups to make an aerosol sampler, a simple adhesive tool that allows students to collect data and estimate the extent of aerosols present at their school, understanding that, in fact, there are particles in the air we breathe. NGSS Alignment includes: Disciplinary Core Ideas- ESS2.D: Weather and Climate, ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems, PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation, ESS3.A: Natural Resources; Science and Engineering Practices- Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Planning and Carrying Out an Investigation, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating

  9. Noctilucent cloud particle size determination based on multi-wavelength all-sky analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugolnikov, Oleg S.; Galkin, Alexey A.; Pilgaev, Sergey V.; Roldugin, Alexey V.

    2017-10-01

    The article deals with the analysis of color distribution in noctilucent clouds (NLC) in the sky based on multi-wavelength (RGB) CCD-photometry provided with the all-sky camera in Lovozero in the north of Russia (68.0°N, 35.1°E) during the bright expanded NLC performance in the night of August 12, 2016. Small changes in the NLC color across the sky are interpreted as the atmospheric absorption and extinction effects combined with the difference in the Mie scattering functions of NLC particles for the three color channels of the camera. The method described in this paper is used to find the effective monodisperse radius of particles about 55 nm. The result of these simple and cost-effective measurements is in good agreement with previous estimations of comparable accuracy. Non-spherical particles, Gaussian and lognormal distribution of the particle size are also considered.

  10. The Sondrestrom Research Facility All-sky Imagers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, E. A.; Grill, M.; Gudmundsson, E.; Stromme, A.

    2010-12-01

    The Sondrestrom Upper Atmospheric Research Facility is located near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, just north of the Arctic Circle and 100 km inland from the west coast of Greenland. The facility is operated by SRI International in Menlo Park, California, under the auspices of the U.S. National Science Foundation. Operating in Greenland since 1983, the Sondrestrom facility is host to more than 20 instruments, the majority of which provide unique and complementary information about the arctic upper atmosphere. Together these instruments advance our knowledge of upper atmospheric physics and determine how the tenuous neutral gas interacts with the charged space plasma environment. The suite of instrumentation supports many disciplines of research - from plate tectonics to auroral physics and space weather. The Sondrestrom facility has recently acquired two new all-sky imagers. In this paper, we present images from both new imagers, placing them in context with other instruments at the site and detailing to the community how to gain access to this new data set. The first new camera replaces the intensified auroral system which has been on site for nearly three decades. This new all-sky imager (ASI), designed and assembled by Keo Scientific Ltd., employs a medium format 180° fisheye lens coupled to a set of five 3-inch narrowband interference filters. The current filter suite allows operation at the following wavelengths: 750 nm, 557.7 nm, 777.4 nm, 630.0 nm, and 732/3 nm. Monochromatic images from the ASI are acquired at a specific filter and integration time as determined by a unique configuration file. Integrations as short as 0.5 sec can be commanded for exceptionally bright features. Preview images are posted to the internet in near real-time, with final images posted weeks later. While images are continuously collected in a "patrol mode," users can request special collection sequences for targeted experiments. The second new imager installed at the Sondrestrom

  11. 1,001 Celestial Wonders to See Before You Die The Best Sky Objects for Star Gazers

    CERN Document Server

    Bakich, Michael E

    2010-01-01

    Many deep-sky objects that can appear quite wonderful in photographs can be hard to observe in the telescope. This book is your guide to the more interesting nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies, objects that will bring gasps when you see them through a telescope. Author Michael E. Bakich shows you how to spot constellations you’ve heard of but haven’t been able to find. He gives you lists of bright deep-sky objects to target on clear nights. And he guides your search for the famous named splendors you’ve heard of — and perhaps seen a picture of — and would like to see through your own telescope. Bakich, an observer since he was in third grade, knows the sky better than most. In his current position as senior editor and also photo editor for the highly regarded Astronomy magazine, he has the technical expertise and finely honed communication skills to help you easily locate the best sites in the sky. His more than 250 astroimages help you identify the detail in these sky wonders. Bakich organizes hi...

  12. Managing Astronomy Research Data: Data Practices in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sands, Ashley Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    Ground-based astronomy sky surveys are massive, decades-long investments in scientific data collection. Stakeholders expect these datasets to retain scientific value well beyond the lifetime of the sky survey. However, the necessary investments in knowledge infrastructures for managing sky survey data are not yet in place to ensure the long-term…

  13. The 105-Month Swift-BAT All-sky Hard X-Ray Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Kyuseok; Koss, Michael; Markwardt, Craig B.; Schawinski, Kevin; Baumgartner, Wayne H.; Barthelmy, Scott D.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Gehrels, Neil; Mushotzky, Richard; Petulante, Abigail; Ricci, Claudio; Lien, Amy; Trakhtenbrot, Benny

    2018-03-01

    We present a catalog of hard X-ray sources detected in the first 105 months of observations with the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) coded-mask imager on board the Swift observatory. The 105-month Swift-BAT survey is a uniform hard X-ray all-sky survey with a sensitivity of 8.40× {10}-12 {erg} {{{s}}}-1 {cm}}-2 over 90% of the sky and 7.24× {10}-12 {erg} {{{s}}}-1 {cm}}-2 over 50% of the sky in the 14–195 keV band. The Swift-BAT 105-month catalog provides 1632 (422 new detections) hard X-ray sources in the 14–195 keV band above the 4.8σ significance level. Adding to the previously known hard X-ray sources, 34% (144/422) of the new detections are identified as Seyfert active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in nearby galaxies (zBAT catalog, we release eight-channel spectra and monthly sampled light curves for each object in the online journal and at the Swift-BAT 105-month website.

  14. ESO unveils an amazing, interactive, 360-degree panoramic view of the entire night sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

    , on 21 September 2009. Notes [1] During his quest, Brunier used a Nikon D3 digital camera. The apparent motion of the sky caused by Earth's rotation was corrected for using a small, precise equatorial mount moving in the opposite direction, which made a whole circle in 23 hours 56 minutes around the Earth's axis of rotation. Each photo required a six-minute exposure, for a total exposure time of more than 120 hours. [2] The data processing, using software called Autopano Pro Giga, took great care in respecting the colours and "texture" of the Milky Way. Frédéric Tapissier needed about 340 computing hours on a powerful PC to complete the task. More information As part of the IYA2009, ESO is participating in several remarkable outreach activities, in line with its world-leading rank in the field of astronomy. ESO is hosting the IYA2009 Secretariat for the International Astronomical Union, which coordinates the Year globally. ESO is one of the Organisational Associates of IYA2009, and was also closely involved in the resolution submitted to the United Nations (UN) by Italy, which led to the UN's 62nd General Assembly proclaiming 2009 the International Year of Astronomy. In addition to a wide array of activities planned both at the local and international level, ESO is leading three of the twelve global Cornerstone Projects. ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO

  15. Cloud fraction and cloud base measurements from scanning Doppler lidar during WFIP-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonin, T.; Long, C.; Lantz, K. O.; Choukulkar, A.; Pichugina, Y. L.; McCarty, B.; Banta, R. M.; Brewer, A.; Marquis, M.

    2017-12-01

    The second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP-2) consisted of an 18-month field deployment of a variety of instrumentation with the principle objective of validating and improving NWP forecasts for wind energy applications in complex terrain. As a part of the set of instrumentation, several scanning Doppler lidars were installed across the study domain to primarily measure profiles of the mean wind and turbulence at high-resolution within the planetary boundary layer. In addition to these measurements, Doppler lidar observations can be used to directly quantify the cloud fraction and cloud base, since clouds appear as a high backscatter return. These supplementary measurements of clouds can then be used to validate cloud cover and other properties in NWP output. Herein, statistics of the cloud fraction and cloud base height from the duration of WFIP-2 are presented. Additionally, these cloud fraction estimates from Doppler lidar are compared with similar measurements from a Total Sky Imager and Radiative Flux Analysis (RadFlux) retrievals at the Wasco site. During mostly cloudy to overcast conditions, estimates of the cloud radiating temperature from the RadFlux methodology are also compared with Doppler lidar measured cloud base height.

  16. Derivation of Sky-View Factors from LIDAR Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Christopher; Chapman, Lee

    2013-01-01

    The use of Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging), an active light-emitting instrument, is becoming increasingly common for a range of potential applications. Its ability to provide fine resolution spatial and vertical resolution elevation data makes it ideal for a wide range of studies. This paper demonstrates the capability of Lidar data to measure sky view factors (SVF). The Lidar data is used to generate a spatial map of SVFs which are then compared against photographically-derived SVF at selected point locations. At each location three near-surface elevations measurements were taken and compared with collocated Lidar-derived estimated. It was found that there was generally good agreement between the two methodologies, although with decreasing SVF the Lidar-derived technique tended to overestimate the SVF: this can be attributed in part to the spatial resolution of the Lidar sampling. Nevertheless, airborne Lidar systems can map sky view factors over a large area easily, improving the utility of such data in atmospheric and meteorological models.

  17. Surveying the skies how astronomers map the universe

    CERN Document Server

    Wynn-Williams, Gareth

    2016-01-01

    Since the time of Galileo, astronomy has been driven by technological innovation. With each major advance has come the opportunity and enthusiasm to survey the sky in a way that was not possible before. It is these surveys of discovery that are the subject of this book. In the first few chapters the author discusses what astronomers learned from visible-light surveys, first with the naked eye, then using telescopes in the seventeenth century, and photography in the nineteenth century. He then moves to the second half of the twentieth century when the skies started to be swept by radio, infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray and gamma ray telescopes, many of which had to be flown in satellites above the Earth’s atmosphere. These surveys led to the discovery of pulsars, quasars, molecular clouds, protostars, bursters, and black holes. He then returns to Earth to describe several currently active large-scale projects that methodically collect images, photometry and spectra that are then stored in vast publicly-accessibl...

  18. Exploring Ancient Skies An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, David H

    2005-01-01

    Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers - events such as the supernova of 1054, the 'lion horoscope' or the 'Star of Bethlehem.' Exploring An...

  19. Imaging the Southern Sky An Amateur Astronomer's Guide

    CERN Document Server

    Chadwick, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    "If you're looking for a handy reference guide to help you image and explore the many splendors of the southern sky, Imaging the Southern Sky is the book for you. The work features not only stunning color images, all taken by Stephen Chadwick, of the best galaxies, nebulae, and clusters available to astrophotographers, but also lesser-known objects, some of which have gone largely unexplored! Beginners and experienced observers alike should appreciate the book's remarkable imagery and simple text, which provides concise and accurate information on each object and its epoch 2000.0 position, and also expert testimony on its visual nature. Each object essay also includes a section on technical information that should help astrophotographers in their planning, including telescope aperture, focal length and ratio, camera used, exposure times, and field size. As a charming bonus, the authors have taken the liberty to name many of the lesser-known objects to reflect their New Zealand heritage. Constellation by con...

  20. Finding a million-star hotel an astro-tourist’s guide to dark sky places

    CERN Document Server

    Mizon, Bob

    2016-01-01

    Finding a Million-Star Hotel explores the modern phenomenon of astro-tourism, the efforts by increasing numbers of people to find nearby and distant locations where they can see the real night sky so often hidden by light pollution. Astronomer Bob Mizon directs readers to dark sky sites in the United Kingdom, the United States, and a few further afield. This is more than just a hotel guide with links for accommodation at or near the locations. There are chapters on choosing telescopes and binoculars, on celestial objects astro-tourists can look for in the night sky, and an investigation into the causes of the skyglow that veils our view of the stars. Most of those who go seeking the stars are not professional astronomers. This book is aimed at those observers with limited knowledge of the night sky who are eager to explore and enjoy it. Even those contemplating setting up astro-themed hotels, campsites, or astronomy events can benefit from reading this book and from the advice included on how to equip such pl...

  1. Impact of elevated CO2 concentration on dynamics of leaf photosynthesis in Fagus sylvatica is modulated by sky conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Urban, Otmar; Klem, Karel; Holišová, Petra; Šigut, Ladislav; Šprtová, Mirka; Teslová-Navrátilová, Petra; Zitová, Martina; Špunda, Vladimír; Marek, Michal V.; Grace, John

    2014-01-01

    It has been suggested that atmospheric CO 2 concentration and frequency of cloud cover will increase in future. It remains unclear, however, how elevated CO 2 influences photosynthesis under complex clear versus cloudy sky conditions. Accordingly, diurnal changes in photosynthetic responses among beech trees grown at ambient (AC) and doubled (EC) CO 2 concentrations were studied under contrasting sky conditions. EC stimulated the daily sum of fixed CO 2 and light use efficiency under clear sky. Meanwhile, both these parameters were reduced under cloudy sky as compared with AC treatment. Reduction in photosynthesis rate under cloudy sky was particularly associated with EC-stimulated, xanthophyll-dependent thermal dissipation of absorbed light energy. Under clear sky, a pronounced afternoon depression of CO 2 assimilation rate was found in sun-adapted leaves under EC compared with AC conditions. This was caused in particular by stomata closure mediated by vapour pressure deficit. -- Highlights: • Sky conditions affect the relative impact of elevated CO 2 on photosynthesis. • Cloudy skies reduce light use efficiency and carbon gain when CO 2 is elevated. • Stimulation of photosynthesis by high CO 2 may decline with increasing cloud cover. • High CO 2 leads to marked afternoon photosynthesis depression in sun-adapted leaves. -- The stimulatory effect of elevated CO 2 concentration on photosynthetic carbon assimilation can be expected to diminish as cloud cover increases

  2. The First Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    CERN Document Server

    Abazajian, Kevork; Agüeros, Marcel A.; Allam, Sahar S.; Anderson, Scott F.; Annis, James; Bahcall, Neta A.; Baldry, Ivan K.; Bastian, Steven; AndreasBerlind; Bernardi, Mariangela; Blanton, Michael R.; Blythe, Norman; Bochanski, John J.; Boroski, William N.; Brewington, Howard; Briggs, John W.; Brinkmann, J.; Brunner, Robert J.; Budavari, Tamas; Carey, Larry N.; Carr, Michael A.; Castander, Francisco J.; Chiu, Kuenley; Collinge, Matthew J.; Connolly, A. J.; Covey, Kevin R.; Csabai, István; J.Dalcanton, Julianne; Dodelson, Scott; Doi, Mamoru; Dong, Feng; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; L.Evans, Michael; Fan, Xiaohui; Feldman, Paul D.; Finkbeiner, Douglas P.; Friedman, Scott D.; Frieman, JoshuaA.; Fukugita, Masataka; Gal, Roy R.; Gillespie, Bruce; Glazebrook, Karl; F.Gonzalez, Carlos; Gray, Jim; Grebel, Eva K.; Grodnicki, Lauren; Gunn, James E.; K.Gurbani, Vijay; Hall, Patrick B.; Hao, Lei; Harbeck, Daniel; Harris, Frederick H.; C.Harris, Hugh; Harvanek, Michael; Hawley, Suzanne L.; Heckman, Timothy M.; Helmboldt, J. F.; Hendry, John S.; Hennessy, Gregory S.; Hindsley, Robert B.; Hogg, David W.; J.Holmgren, Donald; Holtzman, Jon A.; Homer, Lee; Hui, Lam; Ichikawa, Shin-ichi; Ichikawa, Takashi; Inkmann, John P.; ˇ, Zeljko Ivezíc; Jester, Sebastian; Johnston, David E.; Jordan, Beatrice; Jordan, Wendell P.; Jorgensen, Anders M.; Juríc, Mario; Kauffmann, Guinevere; M.Kent, Stephen; Kleinman, S. J.; Knapp, G. R.; Kniazev, Alexei Yu.; Kron, Richard G.; JurekKrzesinski; Kunszt, Peter Z.; Kuropatkin, Nickolai; Lamb, Donald Q.; Lampeitl, Hubert; Laubscher, Bryan E.; Lee, Brian C.; Leger, R. French; Li, Nolan; Lidz, Adam; Lin, Huan; Loh, Yeong-Shang; Long, Daniel C.; Loveday, Jon; Lupton, Robert H.; Malik, Tanu; BruceMargon; McGehee, Peregrine M.; McKay, Timothy A.; Meiksin, Avery; A.Miknaitis, Gajus; Moorthy, Bhasker K.; Munn, Jeffrey A.; Murphy, Tara; Nakajima, Reiko; Narayanan, VijayK.; Nash, Thomas; Neilsen, Eric H. Jr.; Newberg, Heidi Jo; Newman, Peter R.; Nichol, Robert C.; Nicinski, Tom; Nieto-Santisteban, Maria; Nitta, Atsuko; MichaelOdenkirchen; Okamura, Sadanori; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.; Owen, Russell; NikhilPadmanabhan; Peoples, John; Pier, Jeffrey R.; Pindor, Bartosz; Pope, Adrian C.; R.Quinn, Thomas; Rafikov, R. R.; Raymond, Sean N.; Richards, Gordon T.; Richmond, Michael W.; Rix, Hans-Walter; Rockosi, Constance M.; Schaye, Joop; Schlegel, David J.; P.Schneider, Donald; Schroeder, Joshua; Scranton, Ryan; Sekiguchi, Maki; Seljak, Uros; Sergey, Gary; Sesar, Branimir; Sheldon, Erin; Shimasaku, Kazu; Siegmund, Walter A.; Silvestri, Nicole M.; Sinisgalli, Allan J.; Sirko, Edwin; Smith, J. Allyn; Smolčíc, Vernesa; Snedden, Stephanie A.; Stebbins, Albert; Steinhardt, Charles; Stinson, Gregory; Stoughton, Chris; Strateva, Iskra V.; Strauss, Michael A.; SubbaRao, Mark; Szalay, Alexander S.; Szapudi, István; Szkody, Paula; Tasca, Lidia; Tegmark, Max; Thakar, Aniruddha R.; Tremonti, Christy; Tucker, Douglas L.; Uomoto, Alan; Vanden Berk, Daniel E.; Vandenberg, Jan; Vogeley, Michael S.; WolfgangVoges; Vogt, Nicole P.; Walkowicz, Lucianne M.; Weinberg, David H.; West, Andrew A.; White, Simon D.M.; Wilhite, Brian C.; Willman, Beth; Xu, Yongzhong; Yanny, Brian; JeanYarger; Yasuda, Naoki; Yip, Ching-Wa; Yocum, D. R.; York, Donald G.; L.Zakamska, Nadia; Zehavi, Idit; Zheng, Wei; Zibetti, Stefano; Zucker, Daniel B.

    2003-01-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has validated and made publicly available its First Data Release. This consists of 2099 square degrees of five-band (u, g, r, i, z) imaging data, 186,240 spectra of galaxies, quasars, stars and calibrating blank sky patches selected over 1360 square degrees of this area, and tables of measured parameters from these data. The imaging data go to a depth of r ~ 22.6 and are photometrically and astrometrically calibrated to 2% rms and 100 milli-arcsec rms per coordinate, respectively. The spectra cover the range 3800--9200 A, with a resolution of 1800--2100. Further characteristics of the data are described, as are the data products themselves.

  3. Modal evaluation of the anthropogenic night sky brightness at arbitrary distances from a light source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bará, Salvador; Ribas, Salvador J; Kocifaj, Miroslav

    2015-01-01

    The artificial emissions of light contribute to a high extent to the observed brightness of the night sky in many places of the world. Determining the all-sky radiance of anthropogenic origin requires solving the radiative transfer equation for ground-level light sources, generally resorting to a double-scattering approximation in order to account for the observed radiance patterns with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Since the all-sky radiance distribution produced by an elementary light source depends on the distance to the observer in a way that is not immediately obvious, the contributions of sources located at different distances have to be computed on an individual basis, solving for each one the corresponding scattering integrals. In this paper we show that these calculations may be significantly alleviated by using a modal approach, whereby the hemispheric night-sky radiance is expanded in terms of a convenient basis of two-dimensional (2D) orthogonal functions. Since the modal coefficients of this expansion do vary smoothly with the distance to the observer, the all-sky brightness distributions produced by light sources located at arbitrary intermediate distances can be efficiently estimated by interpolation, provided that the coefficients at a discrete set of distances are accurately determined beforehand. (paper)

  4. The Eighth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: First Data from SDSS-III

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aihara, Hiroaki; /Tokyo U.; Prieto, Carlos Allende; /Laguna U., Tenerife; An, Deokkeun; /Ewha Women' s U., Seoul; Anderson, Scott F.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Aubourg, Eric; /APC, Paris /DAPNIA, Saclay; Balbinot, Eduardo; /Rio Grande do Sul U. /Rio de Janeiro Observ.; Beers, Timothy C.; /Michigan State U.; Berlind, Andreas A.; /Vanderbilt U.; Bickerton, Steven J.; /Princeton U.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; /Apache Point Observ.; Blanton, Michael R.; /New York U., CCPP /Penn State U.

    2011-01-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) started a new phase in August 2008, with new instrumentation and new surveys focused on Galactic structure and chemical evolution, measurements of the baryon oscillation feature in the clustering of galaxies and the quasar Ly{alpha} forest, and a radial velocity search for planets around {approx}8000 stars. This paper describes the first data release of SDSS-III (and the eighth counting from the beginning of the SDSS). The release includes 5-band imaging of roughly 5200 deg{sup 2} in the Southern Galactic Cap, bringing the total footprint of the SDSS imaging to 14,555 deg{sup 2}, or over a third of the Celestial Sphere. All the imaging data have been reprocessed with an improved sky-subtraction algorithm and a final, self-consistent recalibration and flat-field determination. This release also includes all data from the second phase of the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Evolution (SEGUE-2), consisting of spectroscopy of approximately 118,000 stars at both high and low Galactic latitudes. All the more than half a million stellar spectra obtained with the SDSS spectrograph have been reprocessed through an improved stellar parameters pipeline, which has better determination of metallicity for high metallicity stars.

  5. 101 amazing sights of the night sky a guided tour for beginners

    CERN Document Server

    Moromisato, George

    2017-01-01

    Is there anything more wondrous and alluring than the night sky? You've seen the stars, and you know about the constellations--but there's so much more to discover! George Moromisato's magnificent full-color guide introduces you to 101 amazing sights, from Saturn's famous rings to the Andromeda Galaxy. Learn what to look for and when and where to find it! This astronomy book is perfect for beginners, so many objects can be seen with the unaided eye or binoculars, while others simply require a small telescope. Book Features: Guide to 101 phenomena and objects of the night sky, ranked by beauty, accessibility and historical importance Information about equipment needed, from binoculars to small telescopes Full-color photographs, including many from NASA Astrophotography tips on taking pictures of the night sky, such as snapping shots with a phone through a telescope Charts to know when to look for solar eclipses, meteor showers and other notable events.

  6. distribution of hourly variability index of sky clearness

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    Clouds affect the values of insolation for solar technology and other applications. To detect the presence of variability in the sky ... It appears that the site has great potential for application of solar technologies. INTRODUCTION. Knowledge about the .... for solar collectors-part 1. Thermal performance of glazed liquid heating.

  7. Impact of elevated CO2 concentration on dynamics of leaf photosynthesis in Fagus sylvatica is modulated by sky conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Otmar; Klem, Karel; Holišová, Petra; Šigut, Ladislav; Šprtová, Mirka; Teslová-Navrátilová, Petra; Zitová, Martina; Špunda, Vladimír; Marek, Michal V; Grace, John

    2014-02-01

    It has been suggested that atmospheric CO2 concentration and frequency of cloud cover will increase in future. It remains unclear, however, how elevated CO2 influences photosynthesis under complex clear versus cloudy sky conditions. Accordingly, diurnal changes in photosynthetic responses among beech trees grown at ambient (AC) and doubled (EC) CO2 concentrations were studied under contrasting sky conditions. EC stimulated the daily sum of fixed CO2 and light use efficiency under clear sky. Meanwhile, both these parameters were reduced under cloudy sky as compared with AC treatment. Reduction in photosynthesis rate under cloudy sky was particularly associated with EC-stimulated, xanthophyll-dependent thermal dissipation of absorbed light energy. Under clear sky, a pronounced afternoon depression of CO2 assimilation rate was found in sun-adapted leaves under EC compared with AC conditions. This was caused in particular by stomata closure mediated by vapour pressure deficit. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Upgrade of the NASA 4STAR (Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research) to its Full Science Capability of Sun-Sky-Cloud-Trace Gas Spectrometry in Airborne Science Deployments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Roy R.; Russell, P.; Dunagan, S.; Redemann, J.; Shinozuka, Y.; Segal-Rosenheimer, M.; LeBlanc, S.; Flynn, C.; Schmid, B.; Livingston, J.

    2014-01-01

    The objectives of this task in the AITT (Airborne Instrument Technology Transition) Program are to (1) upgrade the NASA 4STAR (Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research) instrument to its full science capability of measuring (a) direct-beam sun transmission to derive aerosol optical depth spectra, (b) sky radiance vs scattering angle to retrieve aerosol absorption and type (via complex refractive index spectra, shape, and mode-resolved size distribution), (c) zenith radiance for cloud properties, and (d) hyperspectral signals for trace gas retrievals, and (2) demonstrate its suitability for deployment in challenging NASA airborne multiinstrument campaigns. 4STAR combines airborne sun tracking, sky scanning, and zenith pointing with diffraction spectroscopy to improve knowledge of atmospheric constituents and their links to air pollution, radiant energy budgets (hence climate), and remote measurements of Earth's surfaces. Direct beam hyperspectral measurement of optical depth improves retrievals of gas constituents and determination of aerosol properties. Sky scanning enhances retrievals of aerosol type and size distribution. 4STAR measurements are intended to tighten the closure between satellite and ground-based measurements. 4STAR incorporates a modular sun-tracking/sky-scanning optical head with fiber optic signal transmission to rack mounted spectrometers, permitting miniaturization of the external optical head, and future detector evolution. 4STAR test flights, as well as science flights in the 2012-13 TCAP (Two-Column Aerosol Project) and 2013 SEAC4RS (Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys) have demonstrated that the following are essential for 4STAR to achieve its full science potential: (1) Calibration stability for both direct-beam irradiance and sky radiance, (2) Improved light collection and usage, and (3) Improved flight operability and reliability. A particular challenge

  9. Sky compass orientation in desert locusts – evidence from field and laboratory studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uwe eHomberg

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Locusts are long-range migratory insects. At high population density, immature animals form marching hopper bands while adults take off and form huge swarms of millions of animals. At low population densities animals are solitarious, but likewise migrate, mostly during the night. Numerous studies aimed at predicting locust infestations showed that migrations both as hopper bands and as adults are largely downwind following seasonal shifts of the tropical convergence zone taking the animals to areas of rainfall. Only a few studies provided evidence for active orientation mechanisms, including the involvement of a sun compass. This scarcity of evidence stands in contrast to recent neurobiological data showing sophisticated neuronal adaptations suited for sky compass navigation. These include a special dorsal eye region with photoreceptors suited to analyze the polarization pattern of the sky and a system of topographically arranged sky compass neurons in the central complex of the brain. Laboratory experiments, moreover, demonstrated polarotaxis in tethered flying animals. The discrepancy of these findings call for more rigorous field studies on active orientation mechanisms in locusts. It remains to be shown how locusts use their internal sky compass during mass migrations and what role it plays to guide solitarious locusts in their natural habitat.

  10. Deep Sky Diving with the ESO New Technology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Preparations for future cosmological observations with the VLT Within a few months, the first 8.2-meter Unit Telescope of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) array will open its eye towards the sky above the Atacama desert. As documented by recent Press Photos from ESO, the construction work at the Paranal VLT Observatory is proceeding rapidly. Virtually all of the telescope components, including the giant Zerodur mirror (cf. ESO PR Photos 35a-l/97 ), are now on the mountain. While the integration of the telescope and its many optical, mechanical and electronic components continues, astronomers in the ESO member countries and at ESO are now busy defining the observing programmes that will be carried out with the new telescope, soon after it enters into operation. In this context, new and exciting observations have recently been obtained with the 3.5-m New Technology Telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, 600 km to the south of Paranal. How to record the faintest and most remote astronomical objects With its very large mirror surface (and correspondingly great light collecting power), as well as an unsurpassed optical quality, the VLT will be able to look exceedingly far out into the Universe, well beyond current horizons. The best technique to record the faintest possible light and thus the most remote celestial objects, is to combine large numbers of exposures of the same field with slightly different telescope pointing. This increases the total number of photons recorded and by imaging the stars and galaxies on different areas (pixels) of the detector, the signal-to-noise ratio and hence the visibility of the faintest objects is improved. The famous Hubble Deep Field Images were obtained in this way by combining over 300 single exposures and they show myriads of faint galaxies in the distant realms of the Universe. The NTT as test bench for the VLT ESO is in the fortunate situation of possessing a `prototype' model of the Very Large Telescope, the 3.5-m New

  11. COSMO-SkyMed and GIS applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milillo, Pietro; Sole, Aurelia; Serio, Carmine

    2013-04-01

    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing have become key technology tools for the collection, storage and analysis of spatially referenced data. Industries that utilise these spatial technologies include agriculture, forestry, mining, market research as well as the environmental analysis . Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a coherent active sensor operating in the microwave band which exploits relative motion between antenna and target in order to obtain a finer spatial resolution in the flight direction exploiting the Doppler effect. SAR have wide applications in Remote Sensing such as cartography, surface deformation detection, forest cover mapping, urban planning, disasters monitoring , surveillance etc… The utilization of satellite remote sensing and GIS technology for this applications has proven to be a powerful and effective tool for environmental monitoring. Remote sensing techniques are often less costly and time-consuming for large geographic areas compared to conventional methods, moreover GIS technology provides a flexible environment for, analyzing and displaying digital data from various sources necessary for classification, change detection and database development. The aim of this work si to illustrate the potential of COSMO-SkyMed data and SAR applications in a GIS environment, in particular a demostration of the operational use of COSMO-SkyMed SAR data and GIS in real cases will be provided for what concern DEM validation, river basin estimation, flood mapping and landslide monitoring.

  12. SkyMine Carbon Mineralization Pilot Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christenson, Norm; Walters, Jerel

    2014-12-31

    This Topical Report addresses accomplishments achieved during Phase 2b of the SkyMine® Carbon Mineralization Pilot Project. The primary objectives of this project are to design, construct, and operate a system to capture CO2 from a slipstream of flue gas from a commercial coal-fired cement kiln, convert that CO2 to products having commercial value (i.e., beneficial use), show the economic viability of the CO2 capture and conversion process, and thereby advance the technology to the point of readiness for commercial scale demonstration and deployment. The overall process is carbon negative, resulting in mineralization of CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The project will also substantiate market opportunities for the technology by sales of chemicals into existing markets, and identify opportunities to improve technology performance and reduce costs at the commercial scale. The project is being conducted in two phases. The primary objectives of Phase 1 were to evaluate proven SkyMine® process chemistry for commercial pilot-scale operation and complete the preliminary design for the pilot plant to be built and operated in Phase 2, complete a NEPA evaluation, and develop a comprehensive carbon life cycle analysis. The objective of Phase 2b was to build the pilot plant to be operated and tested in Phase 2c.

  13. SkyMine Carbon Mineralization Pilot Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joe Jones; Clive Barton; Mark Clayton; Al Yablonsky; David Legere

    2010-09-30

    This Topical Report addresses accomplishments achieved during Phase 1 of the SkyMine{reg_sign} Carbon Mineralization Pilot Project. The primary objectives of this project are to design, construct, and operate a system to capture CO{sub 2} from a slipstream of flue gas from a commercial coal-fired cement kiln, convert that CO{sub 2} to products having commercial value (i.e., beneficial use), show the economic viability of the CO{sub 2} capture and conversion process, and thereby advance the technology to a point of readiness for commercial scale demonstration and proliferation. The project will also substantiate market opportunities for the technology by sales of chemicals into existing markets, and identify opportunities to improve technology performance and reduce costs at commercial scale. The primary objectives of Phase 1 of the project were to elaborate proven SkyMine{reg_sign} process chemistry to commercial pilot-scale operation and complete the preliminary design ('Reference Plant Design') for the pilot plant to be built and operated in Phase 2. Additionally, during Phase 1, information necessary to inform a DOE determination regarding NEPA requirements for the project was developed, and a comprehensive carbon lifecycle analysis was completed. These items were included in the formal application for funding under Phase 2. All Phase 1 objectives were successfully met on schedule and within budget.

  14. Assessing 1D Atmospheric Solar Radiative Transfer Models: Interpretation and Handling of Unresolved Clouds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, H. W.; Stephens, G. L.; Partain, P. T.; Bergman, J. W.; Bonnel, B.; Campana, K.; Clothiaux, E. E.; Clough, S.; Cusack, S.; Delamere, J.; Edwards, J.; Evans, K. F.; Fouquart, Y.; Freidenreich, S.; Galin, V.; Hou, Y.; Kato, S.; Li, J.;  Mlawer, E.;  Morcrette, J.-J.;  O'Hirok, W.;  Räisänen, P.;  Ramaswamy, V.;  Ritter, B.;  Rozanov, E.;  Schlesinger, M.;  Shibata, K.;  Sporyshev, P.;  Sun, Z.;  Wendisch, M.;  Wood, N.;  Yang, F.

    2003-08-01

    The primary purpose of this study is to assess the performance of 1D solar radiative transfer codes that are used currently both for research and in weather and climate models. Emphasis is on interpretation and handling of unresolved clouds. Answers are sought to the following questions: (i) How well do 1D solar codes interpret and handle columns of information pertaining to partly cloudy atmospheres? (ii) Regardless of the adequacy of their assumptions about unresolved clouds, do 1D solar codes perform as intended?One clear-sky and two plane-parallel, homogeneous (PPH) overcast cloud cases serve to elucidate 1D model differences due to varying treatments of gaseous transmittances, cloud optical properties, and basic radiative transfer. The remaining four cases involve 3D distributions of cloud water and water vapor as simulated by cloud-resolving models. Results for 25 1D codes, which included two line-by-line (LBL) models (clear and overcast only) and four 3D Monte Carlo (MC) photon transport algorithms, were submitted by 22 groups. Benchmark, domain-averaged irradiance profiles were computed by the MC codes. For the clear and overcast cases, all MC estimates of top-of-atmosphere albedo, atmospheric absorptance, and surface absorptance agree with one of the LBL codes to within ±2%. Most 1D codes underestimate atmospheric absorptance by typically 15-25 W m-2 at overhead sun for the standard tropical atmosphere regardless of clouds.Depending on assumptions about unresolved clouds, the 1D codes were partitioned into four genres: (i) horizontal variability, (ii) exact overlap of PPH clouds, (iii) maximum/random overlap of PPH clouds, and (iv) random overlap of PPH clouds. A single MC code was used to establish conditional benchmarks applicable to each genre, and all MC codes were used to establish the full 3D benchmarks. There is a tendency for 1D codes to cluster near their respective conditional benchmarks, though intragenre variances typically exceed those for

  15. RELIABLE IDENTIFICATIONS OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI FROM THE WISE, 2MASS, AND ROSAT ALL-SKY SURVEYS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edelson, R.; Malkan, M.

    2012-01-01

    We have developed the ''S IX '' statistic to identify bright, highly likely active galactic nucleus (AGN) candidates solely on the basis of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS), and ROSAT all-sky survey (RASS) data. This statistic was optimized with data from the preliminary WISE survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and tested with Lick 3 m Kast spectroscopy. We find that sources with S IX 95% likelihood of being an AGN (defined in this paper as a Seyfert 1, quasar, or blazar). This statistic was then applied to the full WISE/2MASS/RASS dataset, including the final WISE data release, to yield the ''W2R'' sample of 4316 sources with S IX 2 , permitting construction of AGN samples in any sufficiently large region of sky.

  16. Mining the Sky for Explosive Optical Transients with Both Eyes Open

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vestrand, W.T.; Casperson, D.J.; Davis, H.; Fenimore, E.; Galassi, M.; White, R.R.; Wren, J.; Borozdin, K.; Davidoff, S.; McGowan, K.; Starr, D.; Wozniak, P.

    2004-01-01

    While it has been known for centuries that the optical sky is variable, monitoring the sky for optical transients with durations as short as a minute is an area of astronomical research that remains largely unexplored. Prompt follow-up observations of Gamma Ray Bursts have shown that bright, explosive, optical transients exist. However, there are many reasons to suspect the existence of explosive optical transients that cannot be located through sky monitoring by high-energy satellites. The RAPTOR sky monitoring system is an autonomous system of telescope arrays at Los Alamos National Laboratory that identifies fast optical transients as short as a minute and makes follow-up observations in real time. The core of the RAPTOR system is composed of two arrays of telescopes, separated by 38 kilometers, that stereoscopically monitor a field of about 1300 square degrees for transients down to about 12.5th magnitude in 30 seconds. Both arrays are coupled to real-time data analysis pipelines that are designed to identify transients on timescales of seconds. Each telescope array also contains a more sensitive higher resolution 'fovea' telescope, capable of both measuring the light curve at a faster cadence and providing color information. In a manner analogous to human vision, each array is mounted on a rapidly slewing mount so that the 'fovea' of the array can be rapidly directed for real-time follow-up observations of any interesting transient identified by the wide-field system. We discuss the first results from RAPTOR and show that stereoscopic imaging and the absence of measurable parallax is a powerful tool for distinguishing real celestial transients in the 'forest' of false positives

  17. Recent findings about the galactic gamma-ray sky by MAGIC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strzys, Marcel C. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Physik, Muenchen (Germany); Collaboration: MAGIC-Collaboration

    2015-07-01

    The TeV sky currently consists of around 150 sources, about half of them situated within our galaxy. This group comprises various types of cosmic accelerators such as supernova remnants, pulsars, pulsar wind nebula, and binaries. From what we have observed in gamma rays so far, these sources can accelerate particles up to several hundred TeV. In this talk I will present recent results from the observation of galactic gamma-ray sources by MAGIC. This includes, among others, latest findings about the brightest, galactic gamma-ray source in the sky, the Crab nebula, results about one of the rare binary systems at TeV energies, insights into a not yet identified enigmatic source, and the discovery of the, so far, faintest PWN.

  18. Three-dimensional cloud characterization from paired whole-sky imaging cameras

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allmen, M.; Kegelmeyer, W.P. Jr.

    1994-01-01

    Three-dimensional (3-D) cloud characterization permits the derivation of important cloud geometry properties such as fractional cloudiness, mean cloud and clear length, aspect ratio, and the morphology of cloud cover. These properties are needed as input to the hierarchical diagnosis (HD) and instantaneous radiative transfer (IRF) models, to validate sub-models for cloud occurrence and formation, and to Central Site radiative flux calculations. A full 3-D characterization will eventually require the integration of disparate Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) data sources: whole-sky imagers (WSIs), radar, satellites, ceilometers, volume-imaging lidar, and other sensors. In this paper, we demonstrate how an initial 3-D cloud property, cloud base height, can be determined from fusing paired times series of images from two whole-sky imagers

  19. Coherently combining data between detectors for all-sky semi-coherent continuous gravitational wave searches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goetz, E; Riles, K

    2016-01-01

    We present a method for coherently combining short data segments from gravitational-wave detectors to improve the sensitivity of semi-coherent searches for continuous gravitational waves. All-sky searches for continuous gravitational waves from unknown sources are computationally limited. The semi-coherent approach reduces the computational cost by dividing the entire observation timespan into short segments to be analyzed coherently, then combined together incoherently. Semi-coherent analyses that attempt to improve sensitivity by coherently combining data from multiple detectors face a computational challenge in accounting for uncertainties in signal parameters. In this article, we lay out a technique to meet this challenge using summed Fourier transform coefficients. Applying this technique to one all-sky search algorithm called TwoSpect, we confirm that the sensitivity of all-sky, semi-coherent searches can be improved by coherently combining the short data segments, e.g., by up to 42% over a single detector for an all-sky search. For misaligned detectors, however, this improvement requires careful attention when marginalizing over unknown polarization parameters. In addition, care must be taken in correcting for differential detector velocity due to the Earth’s rotation for high signal frequencies and widely separated detectors. (paper)

  20. Design of a multiband near-infrared sky brightness monitor using an InSb detector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shu-Cheng; Wang, Jian; Tang, Qi-Jie; Jiang, Feng-Xin; Chen, Jin-Ting; Zhang, Yi-Hao; Wang, Zhi-Yue; Chen, Jie; Zhang, Hong-Fei; Jiang, Hai-Jiao; Zhu, Qing-Feng; Jiang, Peng; Ji, Tuo

    2018-02-01

    Infrared sky background level is an important parameter of infrared astronomy observations from the ground, particularly for a candidate site of an infrared capable observatory since low background level is required for such a site. The Chinese astronomical community is looking for a suitable site for a future 12 m telescope, which is designed for working in both optical and infrared wavelengths. However, none of the proposed sites has been tested for infrared observations. Nevertheless, infrared sky background measurements are also important during the design of infrared observing instruments. Based on the requirement, in order to supplement the current site survey data and guide the design of future infrared instruments, a multiband near-infrared sky brightness monitor (MNISBM) based on an InSb sensor is designed in this paper. The MNISBM consists of an optical system, mechanical structure and control system, detector and cooler, high gain readout electronics, and operational software. It is completed and tested in the laboratory. The results show that the sensitivity of the MNISBM meets the requirements of the measurement of near-infrared sky background level of several well-known astronomical infrared observing sites.

  1. Design of a multiband near-infrared sky brightness monitor using an InSb detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shu-cheng; Wang, Jian; Tang, Qi-jie; Jiang, Feng-xin; Chen, Jin-ting; Zhang, Yi-hao; Wang, Zhi-yue; Chen, Jie; Zhang, Hong-fei; Jiang, Hai-jiao; Zhu, Qing-feng; Jiang, Peng; Ji, Tuo

    2018-02-01

    Infrared sky background level is an important parameter of infrared astronomy observations from the ground, particularly for a candidate site of an infrared capable observatory since low background level is required for such a site. The Chinese astronomical community is looking for a suitable site for a future 12 m telescope, which is designed for working in both optical and infrared wavelengths. However, none of the proposed sites has been tested for infrared observations. Nevertheless, infrared sky background measurements are also important during the design of infrared observing instruments. Based on the requirement, in order to supplement the current site survey data and guide the design of future infrared instruments, a multiband near-infrared sky brightness monitor (MNISBM) based on an InSb sensor is designed in this paper. The MNISBM consists of an optical system, mechanical structure and control system, detector and cooler, high gain readout electronics, and operational software. It is completed and tested in the laboratory. The results show that the sensitivity of the MNISBM meets the requirements of the measurement of near-infrared sky background level of several well-known astronomical infrared observing sites.

  2. Improvement of shipborne sky radiometer and its demonstration aboard the Antarctic research vessel Shirase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noriaki Tanaka

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The sun-tracking performance of a shipborne sky radiometer was improved to attain accurate aerosol optical thickness (AOT from direct solar measurements on a pitching and rolling vessel. Improvements were made in the accuracy of sun-pointing measurements, field-of-view expansion, sun-tracking speed, and measurement method. Radiometric measurements of direct solar and sky brightness distribution were performed using the shipborne sky radiometer onboard the Antarctic research vessel (R/V Shirase during JARE-51 (2009-2010 and JARE-52 (2010-2011. The temporal variation of signal intensity measured by the radiometer under cloudless conditions was smooth, demonstrating that the radiometer could measure direct sunlight onboard the R/V. AOT at 500 nm ranged from 0.01 to 0.34, and values over Southeast Asia and over the western Pacific Ocean in spring were higher than those over other regions. The Angstrom exponent ranged from -0.06 to 2.00, and values over Southeast Asia and off the coast near Sydney were the highest. The improved shipborne sky radiometer will contribute to a good understanding of the nature of aerosols over the ocean.

  3. New low noise CCD cameras for Pi-of-the-Sky project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasprowicz, G.; Czyrkowski, H.; Dabrowski, R.; Dominik, W.; Mankiewicz, L.; Pozniak, K.; Romaniuk, R.; Sitek, P.; Sokolowski, M.; Sulej, R.; Uzycki, J.; Wrochna, G.

    2006-10-01

    Modern research trends require observation of fainter and fainter astronomical objects on large areas of the sky. This implies usage of systems with high temporal and optical resolution with computer based data acquisition and processing. Therefore Charge Coupled Devices (CCD) became so popular. They offer quick picture conversion with much better quality than film based technologies. This work is theoretical and practical study of the CCD based picture acquisition system. The system was optimized for "Pi of The Sky" project. But it can be adapted to another professional astronomical researches. The work includes issue of picture conversion, signal acquisition, data transfer and mechanical construction of the device.

  4. Transmedulla Neurons in the Sky Compass Network of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Are a Possible Site of Circadian Input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeller, Maximilian; Held, Martina; Bender, Julia; Berz, Annuska; Heinloth, Tanja; Hellfritz, Timm; Pfeiffer, Keram

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees are known for their ability to use the sun's azimuth and the sky's polarization pattern for spatial orientation. Sky compass orientation in bees has been extensively studied at the behavioral level but our knowledge about the underlying neuronal systems and mechanisms is very limited. Electrophysiological studies in other insect species suggest that neurons of the sky compass system integrate information about the polarization pattern of the sky, its chromatic gradient, and the azimuth of the sun. In order to obtain a stable directional signal throughout the day, circadian changes between the sky polarization pattern and the solar azimuth must be compensated. Likewise, the system must be modulated in a context specific way to compensate for changes in intensity, polarization and chromatic properties of light caused by clouds, vegetation and landscape. The goal of this study was to identify neurons of the sky compass pathway in the honeybee brain and to find potential sites of circadian and neuromodulatory input into this pathway. To this end we first traced the sky compass pathway from the polarization-sensitive dorsal rim area of the compound eye via the medulla and the anterior optic tubercle to the lateral complex using dye injections. Neurons forming this pathway strongly resembled neurons of the sky compass pathway in other insect species. Next we combined tracer injections with immunocytochemistry against the circadian neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor and the neuromodulators serotonin, and γ-aminobutyric acid. We identified neurons, connecting the dorsal rim area of the medulla to the anterior optic tubercle, as a possible site of neuromodulation and interaction with the circadian system. These neurons have conspicuous spines in close proximity to pigment dispersing factor-, serotonin-, and GABA-immunoreactive neurons. Our data therefore show for the first time a potential interaction site between the sky compass pathway and the circadian

  5. The VLA Sky Survey (VLASS): Overview and First Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Steven T.; VLASS Survey Team, Survey Science Group (SSG)

    2018-01-01

    The VLA Sky Survey (VLASS) is a 5520 hour spectropolarimetric synoptic survey covering the 33885 square degrees of the sky above Declination -40 degrees from 2-4 GHz at 2.5" angular resolution using the upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). Over the survey duration of 7 years, each area of the sky will be covered in 3 epochs spaced 32 months apart, to a projected depth of 0.12mJy/beam rms noise per epoch and 0.07mJy/beam for 3 epochs combined. The VLASS employs on-the-fly mosaicking (OTFM) to rapidly scan the sky with a net speed of approximately 20 sq. degrees per hour. The high-level science goals for the survey include the identification and precise location of radio transients, the measurement of magnetic fields in our galaxy and beyond, and the study of radio emission from galaxies and active galactic nuclei throughout the Universe. The ability of the VLASS to see through dust allows us to unveil phenomena such as hidden cosmic explosions, emission from deep within our galaxy, and supermassive black holes buried within host galaxies.The VLASS was proposed in 2014 by our community-led Survey Science Group (SSG). VLASS Pilot observations were taken in mid-2016, and the first epoch covering half the area (VLASS1.1) commenced in September 2017. The raw data from the VLASS are available in the NRAO archive immediately with no proprietary period. The Basic Data Products (BDP) that will be produced by the survey team are public and will additionally include: calibrated visibility data, quick-look continuum images (with a goal of posting to the archive within 1 week of observation), single-epoch and cumulative combined-epoch images, spectral image cubes, and basic object catalogs. Single-epoch and cumulative images are in intensity and linear polarization (Stokes IQU). In addition to the BDP provided by NRAO and served through the NRAO archive, there are plans for Enhanced Data Products and Services to be provided by the community in partnership with the

  6. Sun, Sky and Cloud: Where Light and Matter Meet

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 12. Sun, Sky and Cloud: Where Light and Matter Meet. Rajaram Nityananda. General Article Volume 20 Issue 12 December 2015 pp 1111-1127. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  7. Decade of wildlife tracking in the Sky Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessica A. Lamberton-Moreno; Sergio Avila-Villegas

    2013-01-01

    In 2001 Sky Island Alliance developed a citizen science program that uses track and sign identification and count surveys to monitor potential wildlife corridors throughout southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. The goal of the Wildlife Linkages Program is to protect and advocate for an interconnected landscape where wildlife, based on their ecological needs...

  8. Photometric Variability in the Faint Sky Variability Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morales-Rueda, L.; Groot, P.J.; Augusteijn, T.; Nelemans, G.A.; Vreeswijk, P.M.; Besselaar, E.J.M. van den

    2005-01-01

    The Faint Sky Variability Survey (FSVS) is aimed at finding photometric and/or astrometric variable objects between 16th and 24th mag on time-scales between tens of minutes and years with photometric precisions ranging from 3 millimag to 0.2 mag. An area of ~23 deg2, located at mid and

  9. An automated method for the evaluation of the pointing accuracy of Sun-tracking devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgartner, Dietmar J.; Pötzi, Werner; Freislich, Heinrich; Strutzmann, Heinz; Veronig, Astrid M.; Rieder, Harald E.

    2017-03-01

    The accuracy of solar radiation measurements, for direct (DIR) and diffuse (DIF) radiation, depends significantly on the precision of the operational Sun-tracking device. Thus, rigid targets for instrument performance and operation have been specified for international monitoring networks, e.g., the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) operating under the auspices of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). Sun-tracking devices that fulfill these accuracy requirements are available from various instrument manufacturers; however, none of the commercially available systems comprise an automatic accuracy control system allowing platform operators to independently validate the pointing accuracy of Sun-tracking sensors during operation. Here we present KSO-STREAMS (KSO-SunTRackEr Accuracy Monitoring System), a fully automated, system-independent, and cost-effective system for evaluating the pointing accuracy of Sun-tracking devices. We detail the monitoring system setup, its design and specifications, and the results from its application to the Sun-tracking system operated at the Kanzelhöhe Observatory (KSO) Austrian radiation monitoring network (ARAD) site. The results from an evaluation campaign from March to June 2015 show that the tracking accuracy of the device operated at KSO lies within BSRN specifications (i.e., 0.1° tracking accuracy) for the vast majority of observations (99.8 %). The evaluation of manufacturer-specified active-tracking accuracies (0.02°), during periods with direct solar radiation exceeding 300 W m-2, shows that these are satisfied in 72.9 % of observations. Tracking accuracies are highest during clear-sky conditions and on days where prevailing clear-sky conditions are interrupted by frontal movement; in these cases, we obtain the complete fulfillment of BSRN requirements and 76.4 % of observations within manufacturer-specified active-tracking accuracies. Limitations to tracking surveillance arise during overcast conditions and

  10. A 6-cm deep sky survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fomalont, E.B.; Kellermann, K.I.; Wall, J.V.

    1983-01-01

    In order to extend radio source counts to lower flux density, the authors have used the VLA to survey a small region of sky at 4.885 GHz (6 cm) to a limiting flux density of 50 μJy. Details of this deep survey are given in the paper by kellermann et al. (these proceedings). In addition, they have observed 10 other nearby fields to a limiting flux density of 350 μJy in order to provide better statistics on sources of intermediate flux density. (Auth.)

  11. Robust sky light polarization detection with an S-wave plate in a light field camera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenjing; Zhang, Xuanzhe; Cao, Yu; Liu, Haibo; Liu, Zejin

    2016-05-01

    The sky light polarization navigator has many advantages, such as low cost, no decrease in accuracy with continuous operation, etc. However, current celestial polarization measurement methods often suffer from low performance when the sky is covered by clouds, which reduce the accuracy of navigation. In this paper we introduce a new method and structure based on a handheld light field camera and a radial polarizer, composed of an S-wave plate and a linear polarizer, to detect the sky light polarization pattern across a wide field of view in a single snapshot. Each micro-subimage has a special intensity distribution. After extracting the texture feature of these subimages, stable distribution information of the angle of polarization under a cloudy sky can be obtained. Our experimental results match well with the predicted properties of the theory. Because the polarization pattern is obtained through image processing, rather than traditional methods based on mathematical computation, this method is less sensitive to errors of pixel gray value and thus has better anti-interference performance.

  12. New hairworm (Nematomorpha, Gordiida) species described from the Arizona Madrean Sky Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanteson-Franz, Rachel J; Marquez, Destinie A; Goldstein, Craig I; Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa; Bolek, Matthew G; Hanelt, Ben

    2018-01-01

    Gordiids, or freshwater hairworms, are members of the phylum Nematomorpha that use terrestrial definitive hosts (arthropods) and live as adults in rivers, lakes, or streams. The genus Paragordius consists of 18 species, one of which was described from the Nearctic in 1851. More than 150 years later, we are describing a second Paragordius species from a unique habitat within the Nearctic; the Madrean Sky Island complex. The Madrean Sky Islands are a series of isolated high mountains in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States (Arizona and New Mexico), and are well known for their high diversity and endemicity. The new species is described based on both molecular data (COI barcoding) and morphological characters of the eggs, larvae, cysts, and adults. Adult females have unique small oblong mounds present on the interior of the trifurcating lobes with randomly dispersed long hairs extending from the furrows between the mounds. Marked genetic differences support observed morphological differences. This species represents the second new hairworm to be described from the Madrean Sky Islands, and it may represent the first endemic hairworm from this biodiversity hotspot.

  13. The Animated Gamma-ray Sky Revealed by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grenier, Isabelle

    2009-01-01

    The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has been observing the sky in gamma-rays since August 2008. In addition to breakthrough capabilities in energy coverage (20 MeV-300 GeV) and angular resolution, the wide field of view of the Large Area Telescope enables observations of 20% of the sky at any instant, and of the whole sky every three hours. It has revealed a very animated sky with bright gamma-ray bursts flashing and vanishing in minutes, powerful active galactic nuclei flaring over hours and days, many pulsars twinkling in the Milky Way, and X-ray binaries shimmering along their orbit. Most of these variable sources had not been seen by the Fermi predecessor, EGRET, and the wealth of new data already brings important clues to the origin of the high-energy emission and particles powered by the compact objects. The telescope also brings crisp images of the bright gamma-ray emission produced by cosmic-ray interactions in the interstellar medium, thus allowing to measure the cosmic nuclei and electron spectra across the Galaxy, to weigh interstellar clouds, in particular in the dark-gas phase. The telescope sensitivity at high energy will soon provide useful constraints on dark-matter annihilations in a variety of environments. I will review the current results and future prospects of the Fermi mission.

  14. Mapping and assessing the environmental impacts of border tactical infrastructure in the Sky Island Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caroline Patrick-Birdwell; Sergio Avila-Villegas; Jenny Neeley; Louise Misztal

    2013-01-01

    In this project we mapped the different types of border barriers, identified impacts of border infrastructure on public and private lands and conducted spatial analyses within the approximately 200 miles of international border in the Sky Island region. The Sky Island region, bisected by the U.S.-Mexico border, is critically important for its biodiversity and...

  15. The sloan digital sky survey-II supernova survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frieman, Joshua A.; Bassett, Bruce; Becker, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey-II (SDSS-II) has embarked on a multi-year project to identify and measure light curves for intermediate-redshift (0.05 < z < 0.35) Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) using repeated five-band (ugriz) imaging over an area of 300 sq. deg. The survey region is a stripe 2.5° wide...

  16. Cloud classification in a mediterranean location using radiation data and sky images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez-Chico, M.; Batlles, F.J.; Bosch, J.L.

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge regarding the solar radiation reaching the earth's surface and its geographical distribution is very important for the use of solar energy as a resource to produce electricity. Therefore, a proper assessment of available solar resource is particularly important to determine the placement and operation of solar thermal power plants. To perform this analysis correctly, it is necessary to determine the main factors influencing the radiation reaching the earth's surface, such as the earth's geometry, terrain, and atmospheric attenuation by gases, particles and clouds. Among these factors, it is important to emphasise the role of clouds as the main attenuating factor of radiation. Information about the amount and type of clouds present in the sky is therefore necessary to analyse both their attenuation levels and the prevalence of different sky conditions. Cloud cover is characterised according to attenuation levels, using the beam transmittance (k b , ratio of direct radiation incident on the surface to the extraterrestrial solar radiation) and hemispherical sky images. An analysis of the frequency and duration of each type of cloud cover blocking the sun's disk is also performed. Results show prevailing sky situations that make the studied area very suitable for the use of solar energy systems. -- Highlights: → Beam transmittance index k b have been used successfully to classify the cloud cover. → The proposed classification has been used to study a Mediterranean location in south-eastern Spain. → Percentage of cloudless/cloudy situations showed a good potential for solar energy applications in the studied area.

  17. "Dark Skies, Bright Kids" -- Astronomy Education and Outreach in Rural Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasowski, Gail; Johnson, K.; Beaton, R.; Carlberg, J.; Czekala, I.; de Messieres, G.; Drosback, M.; Filipetti, C.; Gugliucci, N.; Hoeft, A.; Jackson, L.; Lynch, R.; Romero, C.; Sivakoff, G.; Whelan, D.; Wong, A.

    2010-01-01

    In the hills of central Virginia, the extraordinarily dark nighttime skies of southern Albemarle County provide a natural outdoor classroom for local science education. Until recently, this rural area lacked the financial and educational support to take full advantage of this rare and valuable natural resource. With funds provided by the NSF, a team of volunteers from the University of Virginia introduced a new program this fall called "Dark Skies - Bright Kids," which promotes science education at the elementary school level through a wide range of activities. The program volunteers (comprising undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and faculty) have sought to develop a coherent schedule of fun and educational activities throughout the semester, with emphases on hands-on learning and critical thinking. For example, students learn about the constellations by making star-wheels, about rocketry by building and launching rockets, and about comets by assembling miniature analogs. Additional activities include stories about the scientific and cultural history of astronomy, visits by professional astronomers and popular book authors, and astronomy-themed exercises in art, music, and physical education. These projects are designed to make astronomy, and by extension all science, accessible and appealing to each student. Family involvement is important in any educational environment, particularly at the elementary school level. To include the students' families and the larger community in "Dark Skies," we hold weekly telescope observing sessions at the school. Here, all interested parties can come together to hear what the students are learning and view astronomical objects through a small telescope. We hope that this well-received program will soon expand to other disadvantaged schools in the area. The "Dark Skies" team is proud and excited to have an impact on the scientific literacy of the students in these starry-skied communities!

  18. "Dark Skies, Bright Kids" - First Year Of Outreach In Rural Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ries, Paul; Johnson, K.; Zasowski, G.; Beaton, R.; Carlberg, J.; Czekala, I.; de Messieres, G.; Drosback, M.; Gugliucci, N.; Jackson, L.; Lynch, R.; Romero, C.; Sivakoff, G.; Whelan, D.; Wong, A.

    2010-10-01

    Dark Skies, Bright Kids (DSBK) is an educational/public outreach program at the University of Virginia directed primarily towards rural elementary school students in grades 3-5. The program, which is run by a diverse community of volunteers (faculty, postdocs, grad students, and undergrads), targets schools in the rural areas surrounding UVa in southern Albemarle County. While these schools are privileged with remarkably dark skies, these same schools are also home to an economically under-privileged and educationally under-served population. DSBK seeks to use those dark skies, among other resources, to create excitement and interest in science and engineering as part of a weekly after-school program. A typical afternoon consists of 1.5-2.5 hours of science activities specifically centered around space and astronomy. Each week has a theme (e.g., rockets, invisible light) and we incorporate a mix of activities on that theme, such as hands-on experiments, stories, games, and creative play. We also encourage family involvement, so that the parents are actively involved in their children's education. Every other week, we hold a family observing night, so both the students and their parents can learn about the night sky together. The program lasts for one semester at each school, and we have just completed our second semester of work. Each new semester brings on new challenges, but also new lessons to make our program better in future semesters. Our group actively writes and then rewrites our own lesson plans as we learn what works best with the students. We are now in the process of putting our lesson plans online so other groups can take advantage of what we have learned and apply this program at other schools. On the web: http://www.astro.virginia.edu/dsbk/

  19. Clear-Sky Narrowband Albedo Variations Derived from VIRS and MODIS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun-Mack, Sunny; Chen, Yan; Arduini, Robert F.; Minnis, Patrick

    2004-01-01

    A critical parameter for detecting clouds and aerosols and for retrieving their microphysical properties is the clear-sky radiance. The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Project uses the visible (VIS; 0.63 m) and near-infrared (NIR; 1.6 or 2.13 m) channels available on same satellites as the CERES scanners. Another channel often used for cloud and aerosol, and vegetation cover retrievals is the vegetation (VEG; 0.86- m) channel that has been available on the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) for many years. Generally, clear-sky albedo for a given surface type is determined for conditions when the vegetation is either thriving or dormant and free of snow. Snow albedo is typically estimated without considering the underlying surface type. The albedo for a surface blanketed by snow, however, should vary with surface type because the vegetation often emerges from the snow to varying degrees depending on the vertical dimensions of the vegetation. For example, a snowcovered prairie will probably be brighter than a snowcovered forest because the snow typically falls off the trees exposing the darker surfaces while the snow on a grassland at the same temperatures will likely be continuous and, therefore, more reflective. Accounting for the vegetation-induced differences should improve the capabilities for distinguishing snow and clouds over different surface types and facilitate improvements in the accuracy of radiative transfer calculations between the snow-covered surface and the atmosphere, eventually leading to improvements in models of the energy budgets over land. This paper presents a more complete analysis of the CERES spectral clear-sky reflectances to determine the variations in clear-sky top-of-atmosphere (TOA) albedos for both snow-free and snow-covered surfaces for four spectral channels using data from Terra and Aqua.. The results should be valuable for improved cloud retrievals and for modeling radiation fields.

  20. Sky Fest: A Model of Successful Scientist Participation in E/PO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, H.; Shipp, S. S.; Shaner, A. J.; LaConte, K.; Shupla, C. B.

    2014-12-01

    Participation in outreach events is an easy way for scientists to get involved with E/PO and reach many people with minimal time commitment. At the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, Texas, the E/PO team holds Sky Fest outreach events several times a year. These events each have a science content theme and include several activities for children and their parents, night sky viewing through telescopes, and scientist presentations. LPI scientists have the opportunity to participate in Sky Fest events either by helping lead an activity or by giving the scientist presentation (a short lecture and/or demonstration). Scientists are involved in at least one preparation meeting before the event. This allows them to ask questions, understand what activity they will be leading, and learn the key points that they should be sharing with the public, as well as techniques for effectively teaching members of the public about the event topic. During the event, each activity is run by one E/PO specialist and one scientist, enabling the scientist to learn about effective E/PO practices from the E/PO specialist and the E/PO specialist to get more science information about the event topic. E/PO specialists working together with scientists at stations provides a more complete, richer experience for event participants. Surveys of event participants have shown that interacting one-on-one with scientists is often one of their favorite parts of the events. Interviews with scientists indicated that they enjoyed Sky Fest because there was very little time involved on their parts outside of the actual event; the activities were created and/or chosen by the E/PO professionals, and setup for the events was completed before they arrived. They also enjoyed presenting their topic to people without a background in science, and who would not have otherwise sought out the information that was presented.

  1. Sky light polarization detection with linear polarizer triplet in light field camera inspired by insect vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenjing; Cao, Yu; Zhang, Xuanzhe; Liu, Zejin

    2015-10-20

    Stable information of a sky light polarization pattern can be used for navigation with various advantages such as better performance of anti-interference, no "error cumulative effect," and so on. But the existing method of sky light polarization measurement is weak in real-time performance or with a complex system. Inspired by the navigational capability of a Cataglyphis with its compound eyes, we introduce a new approach to acquire the all-sky image under different polarization directions with one camera and without a rotating polarizer, so as to detect the polarization pattern across the full sky in a single snapshot. Our system is based on a handheld light field camera with a wide-angle lens and a triplet linear polarizer placed over its aperture stop. Experimental results agree with the theoretical predictions. Not only real-time detection but simple and costless architecture demonstrates the superiority of the approach proposed in this paper.

  2. Celestial orientation with the sun not in view: lizards use a time-compensated sky polarization compass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maoret, Francesco; Beltrami, Giulia; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Foà, Augusto

    2014-04-01

    The present investigation was aimed at testing whether the lizard sky polarization compass is time compensated. For this purpose, ruin lizards, Podarcis sicula, were both trained and tested for orientation inside a Morris water maze under clear skies with the sun not in view. During training, lizards showed a striking bimodal orientation along the training axis, demonstrating their capability of determining the symmetry plane of the sky polarization pattern and thus the use of polarization information in orientation. After reaching criteria, lizards were kept 7 days in a 6-h fast clock-shift treatment and then released with the sun not in view. Six-hour clock-shifted lizards showed a bimodal distribution of directional choices, which was oriented perpendicularly to the training axis, as it was expected on the basis of the clock-shift. The results show that the only celestial diurnal compass mechanism that does not need a direct vision of the sun disk (i.e., the sky polarization compass) is a time-compensated compass.

  3. Tightly-Coupled GNSS/Vision Using a Sky-Pointing Camera for Vehicle Navigation in Urban Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gakne, Paul Verlaine; O'Keefe, Kyle

    2018-04-17

    This paper presents a method of fusing the ego-motion of a robot or a land vehicle estimated from an upward-facing camera with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals for navigation purposes in urban environments. A sky-pointing camera is mounted on the top of a car and synchronized with a GNSS receiver. The advantages of this configuration are two-fold: firstly, for the GNSS signals, the upward-facing camera will be used to classify the acquired images into sky and non-sky (also known as segmentation). A satellite falling into the non-sky areas (e.g., buildings, trees) will be rejected and not considered for the final position solution computation. Secondly, the sky-pointing camera (with a field of view of about 90 degrees) is helpful for urban area ego-motion estimation in the sense that it does not see most of the moving objects (e.g., pedestrians, cars) and thus is able to estimate the ego-motion with fewer outliers than is typical with a forward-facing camera. The GNSS and visual information systems are tightly-coupled in a Kalman filter for the final position solution. Experimental results demonstrate the ability of the system to provide satisfactory navigation solutions and better accuracy than the GNSS-only and the loosely-coupled GNSS/vision, 20 percent and 82 percent (in the worst case) respectively, in a deep urban canyon, even in conditions with fewer than four GNSS satellites.

  4. Estimation of spectral distribution of sky radiance using a commercial digital camera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Masanori; Iwabuchi, Hironobu; Murata, Isao

    2016-01-10

    Methods for estimating spectral distribution of sky radiance from images captured by a digital camera and for accurately estimating spectral responses of the camera are proposed. Spectral distribution of sky radiance is represented as a polynomial of the wavelength, with coefficients obtained from digital RGB counts by linear transformation. The spectral distribution of radiance as measured is consistent with that obtained by spectrometer and radiative transfer simulation for wavelengths of 430-680 nm, with standard deviation below 1%. Preliminary applications suggest this method is useful for detecting clouds and studying the relation between irradiance at the ground and cloud distribution.

  5. Reconstruction of MODIS Spectral Reflectance under Cloudy-Sky Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Gao

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Clouds usually cause invalid observations for sensors aboard satellites, which corrupts the spatio-temporal continuity of land surface parameters retrieved from remote sensing data (e.g., MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS data and prevents the fusing of multi-source remote sensing data in the field of quantitative remote sensing. Based on the requirements of spatio-temporal continuity and the necessity of methods to restore bad pixels, primarily resulting from image processing, this study developed a novel method to derive the spectral reflectance for MODIS band of cloudy pixels in the visual–near infrared (VIS–NIR spectral channel based on the Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF and multi-spatio-temporal observations. The proposed method first constructs the spatial distribution of land surface reflectance based on the corresponding BRDF and the solar-viewing geometry; then, a geographically weighted regression (GWR is introduced to individually derive the spectral surface reflectance for MODIS band of cloudy pixels. A validation of the proposed method shows that a total root-mean-square error (RMSE of less than 6% and a total R2 of more than 90% are detected, which indicates considerably better precision than those exhibited by other existing methods. Further validation of the retrieved white-sky albedo based on the spectral reflectance for MODIS band of cloudy pixels confirms an RMSE of 3.6% and a bias of 2.2%, demonstrating very high accuracy of the proposed method.

  6. Application of a spectral sky in Radiance for daylighting calculations including non-image-forming light effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khademagha, P.; Aries, M.B.C.; Rosemann, A.L.P.; van Loenen, E.J.

    2016-01-01

    Daylight is dynamic and rich in the blue part of the spectrum. To date, the spectral composition of daylight is ignored in sky models used in Radiance. Spectral sky composition is particularly important when non-image-forming (NIF) light effects are concerned, since the action spectrum for these

  7. Einstein pictures the x-ray sky

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartline, B.K.

    1979-01-01

    The second High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO-2, Einstein) is revolutionizing x-ray astronomy just as its namesake revolutionized physics. Earlier x-ray observatories, including HEAO-1, were designed to scan the sky for x-ray emitters. With Einstein, the challenge has shifted from discovering x-ray sources to understanding the processes producing the x-rays. But having 500 times the sensitivity of previous detectors, Einstein makes more than its share of discoveries, too. For example, it sees distant quasars and clusters of galaxies that can barely be detected by the largest optical telescopes

  8. LOFAR and APERTIF Surveys of the Radio Sky: Probing Shocks ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LOFAR and APERTIF Surveys of the Radio Sky: Probing Shocks and Magnetic .... technology. This replaces the traditional and expensive mechanical dishes by a com- ... approach has been adopted (for details, see Röttgering et al. 2010).

  9. Dark Skies Awareness Programs for the International Year of Astronomy: Involvement, Outcomes and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Constance E.

    2010-01-01

    The preservation of dark skies is a growing global concern, yet it is one of the easiest environmental problems people can address on local levels. For this reason, the goal of the IYA Dark Skies Awareness Cornerstone Project is to raise public awareness of the impact of artificial lighting on local environments by getting people worldwide involved in a variety of programs. These programs provide resources on light pollution for new technologies like a presence in Second Life and podcasts, for local thematic events at national parks and observatory open houses, for international thematic events like International Dark Skies Week and Earth Hour, for a program in the arts like an international photo contest, for global citizen-science programs that measure night sky brightness worldwide, and for educational materials like a kit with a light shielding demonstration. These programs have been successfully used around the world during IYA to raise awareness of the effects of light pollution on public health, economic issues, ecological consequences, energy conservation, safety and security, and astronomy. The presentation will provide an update, take a look ahead at the project's sustainability, and describe how people can be involved in the future. Information about the programs is at www.darkskiesawareness.org.

  10. THE 70 MONTH SWIFT-BAT ALL-SKY HARD X-RAY SURVEY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baumgartner, W. H.; Tueller, J.; Markwardt, C. B.; Skinner, G. K.; Barthelmy, S.; Gehrels, N. [NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Astrophysics Science Division, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Mushotzky, R. F. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Evans, P. A., E-mail: whbaumga@alum.mit.edu [X-Ray and Observational Astronomy Group/Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH (United Kingdom)

    2013-08-15

    We present the catalog of sources detected in 70 months of observations with the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) hard X-ray detector on the Swift gamma-ray burst observatory. The Swift-BAT 70 month survey has detected 1171 hard X-ray sources (more than twice as many sources as the previous 22 month survey) in the 14-195 keV band down to a significance level of 4.8{sigma}, associated with 1210 counterparts. The 70 month Swift-BAT survey is the most sensitive and uniform hard X-ray all-sky survey and reaches a flux level of 1.03 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -11} erg s{sup -1} cm{sup -2} over 50% of the sky and 1.34 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -11} erg s{sup -1} cm{sup -2} over 90% of the sky. The majority of new sources in the 70 month survey continue to be active galactic nuclei, with over 700 in the catalog. As part of this new edition of the Swift-BAT catalog, we also make available eight-channel spectra and monthly sampled light curves for each object detected in the survey in the online journal and at the Swift-BAT 70 month Web site.

  11. The 105-Month Swift-BAT All-Sky Hard X-Ray Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Kyuseok; Koss, Michael; Markwardt, Craig B.; Schawinski, Kevin; Baumgartner, Wayne H.; Barthelmy, Scott D.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Gehrels, Neil; Mushotzky, Richard; Petulante, Abigail; hide

    2018-01-01

    We present a catalog of hard X-ray sources detected in the first 105 months of observations with the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) coded-mask imager on board the Swift observatory. The 105-month Swift-BAT survey is a uniform hard X-ray all-sky survey with a sensitivity of 8.40 x 10(exp -12) erg s(exp -1) cm(exp -2) over 90% of the sky and 7.24 x 10(exp -12) erg s(exp -1) cm(exp -2) over 50% of the sky in the 14-195 keV band. The Swift-BAT 105-month catalog provides 1632 (422 new detections) hard X-ray sources in the 14-195 keV band above the 4.8 sigma significance level. Adding to the previously known hard X-ray sources, 34% (144/422) of the new detections are identified as Seyfert active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in nearby galaxies (z < 0.2). The majority of the remaining identified sources are X-ray binaries (7%, 31) and blazars/BL Lac objects (10%, 43). As part of this new edition of the Swift-BAT catalog, we release eight-channel spectra and monthly sampled light curves for each object in the online journal and at the Swift-BAT 105-month website.

  12. THE 70 MONTH SWIFT-BAT ALL-SKY HARD X-RAY SURVEY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baumgartner, W. H.; Tueller, J.; Markwardt, C. B.; Skinner, G. K.; Barthelmy, S.; Gehrels, N.; Mushotzky, R. F.; Evans, P. A.

    2013-01-01

    We present the catalog of sources detected in 70 months of observations with the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT) hard X-ray detector on the Swift gamma-ray burst observatory. The Swift-BAT 70 month survey has detected 1171 hard X-ray sources (more than twice as many sources as the previous 22 month survey) in the 14-195 keV band down to a significance level of 4.8σ, associated with 1210 counterparts. The 70 month Swift-BAT survey is the most sensitive and uniform hard X-ray all-sky survey and reaches a flux level of 1.03 × 10 –11 erg s –1 cm –2 over 50% of the sky and 1.34 × 10 –11 erg s –1 cm –2 over 90% of the sky. The majority of new sources in the 70 month survey continue to be active galactic nuclei, with over 700 in the catalog. As part of this new edition of the Swift-BAT catalog, we also make available eight-channel spectra and monthly sampled light curves for each object detected in the survey in the online journal and at the Swift-BAT 70 month Web site

  13. Cloud classification using whole-sky imager data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buch, K.A. Jr.; Sun, C.H.; Thorne, L.R. [Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (United States)

    1996-04-01

    Clouds are one of the most important moderators of the earth radiation budget and one of the least understood. The effect that clouds have on the reflection and absorption of solar and terrestrial radiation is strongly influenced by their shape, size, and composition. Physically accurate parameterization of clouds is necessary for any general circulation model (GCM) to yield meaningful results. The work presented here is part of a larger project that is aimed at producing realistic three-dimensional (3D) volume renderings of cloud scenes based on measured data from real cloud scenes. These renderings will provide the important shape information for parameterizing GCMs. The specific goal of the current study is to develop an algorithm that automatically classifies (by cloud type) the clouds observed in the scene. This information will assist the volume rendering program in determining the shape of the cloud. Much work has been done on cloud classification using multispectral satellite images. Most of these references use some kind of texture measure to distinguish the different cloud types and some also use topological features (such as cloud/sky connectivity or total number of clouds). A wide variety of classification methods has been used, including neural networks, various types of clustering, and thresholding. The work presented here uses binary decision trees to distinguish the different cloud types based on cloud features vectors.

  14. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve and light pollution issues in New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hearnshaw, John

    2015-08-01

    I will discuss the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, recognized by IDA in 2012, and how the reserve is managed and promoted to the public to make them aware of light pollution issues and in order to promote star-gazing and astro-tourism. AMIDSR is the world's largest Dark Sky Reserve recognized by IDA and has gold tier status. We will have a Starlight festival in October to promote the Reserve to the public.

  15. Observation of the Coma cluster of galaxies with ROSAT during the all-sky survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briel, U. G.; Henry, J. P.; Boehringer, H.

    1992-01-01

    The Coma cluster of galaxies was observed with the position sensitive proportional counter (PSPC) during the ROSAT all sky survey. We find evidence for substructure in this cluster. Diffuse X-ray emission is detected from the regions of the NGC 4839 and 4911 subgroups at 6 percent and 1 percent of the total cluster emission respectively. There may be emission associated with the NGC 4874 and 4889 subgroups as well. The NGC 4839 group appears to be in the process of merging with the cluster. These X-ray data show that at least some of the groups previously found in projection are in fact physical objects possessing potential wells deep enough to trap their own X-ray gas. Because of the unlimited field of view of the all sky survey and the low background of the PSPC, we were able to measure the azimuthally averaged surface brightness of Coma out to approximately 100 arcmin, twice as far as was previously possible. Given the validity of our mass models, these new X-ray data imply that within 5/h(50) Mpc the binding mass of the Coma cluster is 1.8 +/- 0.6 x 10 exp 15/h(50) solar mass, and the fraction of cluster mass contained in hot gas is 0.30 +/- 0.14h(50) exp -3/2. Furthermore, the binding mass is more centrally concentrated than is the X-ray gas.

  16. Retrieval of Garstang's emission function from all-sky camera images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocifaj, Miroslav; Solano Lamphar, Héctor Antonio; Kundracik, František

    2015-10-01

    The emission function from ground-based light sources predetermines the skyglow features to a large extent, while most mathematical models that are used to predict the night sky brightness require the information on this function. The radiant intensity distribution on a clear sky is experimentally determined as a function of zenith angle using the theoretical approach published only recently in MNRAS, 439, 3405-3413. We have made the experiments in two localities in Slovakia and Mexico by means of two digital single lens reflex professional cameras operating with different lenses that limit the system's field-of-view to either 180º or 167º. The purpose of using two cameras was to identify variances between two different apertures. Images are taken at different distances from an artificial light source (a city) with intention to determine the ratio of zenith radiance relative to horizontal irradiance. Subsequently, the information on the fraction of the light radiated directly into the upward hemisphere (F) is extracted. The results show that inexpensive devices can properly identify the upward emissions with adequate reliability as long as the clear sky radiance distribution is dominated by a largest ground-based light source. Highly unstable turbidity conditions can also make the parameter F difficult to find or even impossible to retrieve. The measurements at low elevation angles should be avoided due to a potentially parasitic effect of direct light emissions from luminaires surrounding the measuring site.

  17. Validity of satellite measurements used for the monitoring of UV radiation risk on health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Jégou

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available In order to test the validity of ultraviolet index (UVI satellite products and UVI model simulations for general public information, intercomparison involving three satellite instruments (SCIAMACHY, OMI and GOME-2, the Chemistry and Transport Model, Modélisation de la Chimie Atmosphérique Grande Echelle (MOCAGE, and ground-based instruments was performed in 2008 and 2009. The intercomparison highlighted a systematic high bias of ~1 UVI in the OMI clear-sky products compared to the SCIAMACHY and TUV model clear-sky products. The OMI and GOME-2 all-sky products are close to the ground-based observations with a low 6 % positive bias, comparable to the results found during the satellite validation campaigns. This result shows that OMI and GOME-2 all-sky products are well appropriate to evaluate the UV-risk on health. The study has pointed out the difficulty to take into account either in the retrieval algorithms or in the models, the large spatial and temporal cloud modification effect on UV radiation. This factor is crucial to provide good quality UV information. OMI and GOME-2 show a realistic UV variability as a function of the cloud cover. Nevertheless these satellite products do not sufficiently take into account the radiation reflected by clouds. MOCAGE numerical forecasts show good results during periods with low cloud covers, but are actually not adequate for overcast conditions; this is why Météo-France currently uses human-expertised cloudiness (rather than direct outputs from Numerical Prediction Models together with MOCAGE clear-sky UV indices for its operational forecasts. From now on, the UV monitoring could be done using free satellite products (OMI, GOME-2 and operational forecast for general public by using modelling, as long as cloud forecasts and the parametrisation of the impact of cloudiness on UV radiation are adequate.

  18. Recent Advances and Achievements at The Catalina Sky Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Gregory J.; Christensen, Eric J.; Fuls, Carson; Gibbs, Alex; Grauer, Al; Johnson, Jess A.; Kowalski, Richard; Larson, Stephen M.; Matheny, Rose; Seaman, Rob; Shelly, Frank

    2017-10-01

    The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) is a NASA-funded project fully dedicated to discover and track near-Earth objects (NEOs). Since its founding nearly 20 years ago CSS remains at the forefront of NEO surveys, and recent improvements in both instrumentation and software have increased both survey productivity and data quality. In 2016 new large-format (10K x 10K) cameras were installed on both CSS survey telescopes, the 1.5-m reflector and the 0.7-m Schmidt, increasing the field of view, and hence nightly sky coverage by 4x and 2.4x respectively. The new cameras, coupled with improvements in the reduction and detection pipelines, and revised sky-coverage strategies have yielded a dramatic upward trend of NEO discovery rates. CSS has also developed a custom adaptive queue manager for scheduling NEO follow-up astrometry using a remotely operated and recently renovated 1-m Cassegrain reflector telescope, improvements that have increased the production of follow-up astrometry for newly discovered NEOs and arc extensions for previously discovered objects by CSS and other surveys. Additionally, reprocessing of archival CSS data (which includes some 46 million individual astrometric measurements) through the new reduction and detection pipeline will allow for improved orbit determinations and increased arc extensions for hundreds of thousands of asteroids. Reprocessed data will soon feed into a new public archive of CSS images and catalog data products made available through NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS). For the future, CSS is working towards improved NEO follow-up capabilities through a combination of access to larger telescopes, instrument upgrades and follow-up scheduling tools.

  19. The All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) Light Curve Server v1.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochanek, C. S.; Shappee, B. J.; Stanek, K. Z.; Holoien, T. W.-S.; Thompson, Todd A.; Prieto, J. L.; Dong, Subo; Shields, J. V.; Will, D.; Britt, C.; Perzanowski, D.; Pojmański, G.

    2017-10-01

    The All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) is working toward imaging the entire visible sky every night to a depth of V˜ 17 mag. The present data covers the sky and spans ˜2-5 years with ˜100-400 epochs of observation. The data should contain some ˜1 million variable sources, and the ultimate goal is to have a database of these observations publicly accessible. We describe here a first step, a simple but unprecedented web interface https://asas-sn.osu.edu/ that provides an up to date aperture photometry light curve for any user-selected sky coordinate. The V band photometry is obtained using a two-pixel (16.″0) radius aperture and is calibrated against the APASS catalog. Because the light curves are produced in real time, this web tool is relatively slow and can only be used for small samples of objects. However, it also imposes no selection bias on the part of the ASAS-SN team, allowing the user to obtain a light curve for any point on the celestial sphere. We present the tool, describe its capabilities, limitations, and known issues, and provide a few illustrative examples.

  20. Blue Sky Funders Forum - Advancing Environmental Literacy through Funder Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Blue Sky Funders Forum inspires, deepens, and expands private funding and philanthropic leadership to promote learning opportunities that connect people and nature and promote environmental literacy. Being prepared for the future requires all of us to understand the consequences of how we live on where we live - the connection between people and nature. Learning about the true meaning of that connection is a process that starts in early childhood and lasts a lifetime. Blue Sky brings supporters of this work together to learn from one another and to strategize how to scale up the impact of the effective programs that transform how people interact with their surroundings. By making these essential learning opportunities more accessible in all communities, we broaden and strengthen the constituency that makes well-informed choices, balancing the needs of today with the needs of future generations.

  1. Foreground removal from Planck Sky Model temperature maps using a MLP neural network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard-Nielsen, Hans Ulrik; Hebert, K.

    2009-01-01

    with no systematic errors. To demonstrate the feasibility of a simple multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network for extracting the CMB temperature signal, we have analyzed a specific data set, namely the Planck Sky Model maps, developed for evaluation of different component separation methods before including them...... in the Planck data analysis pipeline. It is found that a MLP neural network can provide a CMB map of about 80% of the sky to a very high degree uncorrelated with the foreground components. Also the derived power spectrum shows little evidence for systematic errors....

  2. The one square meter hard X-ray (15-200 KeV) sky survey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ubertini, P.; Bazzano, A.; La Padula, C.D.; Polcaro, V.F.

    1981-01-01

    A long term program was started at I.A.S. since 1979 to perform a survey of the hard X-ray sky using multiwire high pressure Xenon filled Spectroscopic Proportional Counters (SPC). The first payload consisting of two very large area SPC (2,700 cm 2 each) was flown during summer 1980 from the Milo Base (Sicily, Italy). The instrument duplicated to reach 10,800 cm 2 geometric area is expected to fly from northern (1981), southern (1982) and equatorial (1983) bases to perform a deep sky survey

  3. 77 FR 53884 - North Sky River Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-04

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER12-2444-000] North Sky River Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for... North Sky River Energy, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate...

  4. Search for neutrino point sources with an all-sky autocorrelation analysis in IceCube

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turcati, Andrea; Bernhard, Anna; Coenders, Stefan [TU, Munich (Germany); Collaboration: IceCube-Collaboration

    2016-07-01

    The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a cubic kilometre scale neutrino telescope located in the Antarctic ice. Its full-sky field of view gives unique opportunities to study the neutrino emission from the Galactic and extragalactic sky. Recently, IceCube found the first signal of astrophysical neutrinos with energies up to the PeV scale, but the origin of these particles still remains unresolved. Given the observed flux, the absence of observations of bright point-sources is explainable with the presence of numerous weak sources. This scenario can be tested using autocorrelation methods. We present here the sensitivities and discovery potentials of a two-point angular correlation analysis performed on seven years of IceCube data, taken between 2008 and 2015. The test is applied on the northern and southern skies separately, using the neutrino energy information to improve the effectiveness of the method.

  5. University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Sky Imager Cloud Position Study Field Campaign Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kleissl, J. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Urquhart, B. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Ghonima, M. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Dahlin, E. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Nguyen, A. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Kurtz, B. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Chow, C. W. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States); Mejia, F. A. [Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)

    2016-04-01

    During the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Sky Imager Cloud Position Study, two University of California, San Diego Sky Imagers (USI) (Figure 1) were deployed the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE)’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Southern Great Plains SGP) research facility. The UCSD Sky Imagers were placed 1.7 km apart to allow for stereographic determination of the cloud height for clouds over approximately 1.5 km. Images with a 180-degree field of view were captured from both systems during daylight hours every 30 seconds beginning on March 11, 2013 and ending on November 4, 2013. The spatial resolution of the images was 1,748 × 1,748, and the intensity resolution was 16 bits using a high-dynamic-range capture process. The cameras use a fisheye lens, so the images are distorted following an equisolid angle projection.

  6. Characteristics of infrared thermometers manufactured in Japan and calibration methods for sky radiant emittance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, X.; Horiguchi, I.; Machimura, T.

    1993-01-01

    Infrared thermometers to measure surface temperature have been increasingly adopted in recent years. The characteristics of the IR thermometer, however, are not well known.IR thermometers manufactured in Japan systematically adjust for ambient radiation based on the internal temperature of the thermometer. If, therefore, there is a large difference between the internal temperature of the IR thermometer and the apparent temperature associated with the surrounding radiation, a large error will be induced into the measured surface temperature.The purpose of our research was to determine the characteristics and measurement errors of IR thermometers. Experiments were performed with regard to the following items: (1) Measurement errors related to the internal temperature of the IR thermometer. (2) Linearity of the output signal of the IR thermometer. (3) Response of the output signal to changes in the emissivity setting. (4) Effect of sky radiant emittance on the measured surface temperature. (5) Calibration method for the terrestrial surface.The following is a summary of the results: Measurement error is affected by the internal temperature of the IR thermometer. Measurement accuracy is improved with a controlled internal temperature of 20-30°C. The measurement error becomes larger at emissivity settings under 0.7.The measurement error outdoors was not proportional to the downward longwave radiation, but to the sky radiant temperature measured by the IR thermometer. Calibration for sky radiant emittance was improved by using the difference between sky radiant temperature and air temperature.When the surface temperature measured by the infrared thermometer is plotted against the surface temperature measured by thermocouple, the sky radiant emittance error is obtained from the Y intercept. Additionally, the difference between true temperature and output of the IR thermometer for a reference plate was compared to that obtained for vegetation, and the RMS obtained was

  7. Session 21.6: Preserving Dark Skies and Protecting Against Light Pollution in a World Heritage Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Malcolm G.

    2016-10-01

    This session opened with a crucial explanation by Michel Cotte of how astronomers first need to understand how to apply UNESCO World Heritage Criteria if they want to motivate their government(s) to make the case to UNESCO for World Heritage recognition. UNESCO World Heritage cannot be obtained just to protect dark skies. Much more detail of this and the other presentations in this session, along with many images, can be found at the session website: http://www.noao.edu/education/IAUGA2015FM21. The next speaker, John Hearnshaw, described the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve and the work it carries out . This was followed by a wide-ranging summary (by Dan Duriscoe and Nate Ament) of the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) Night Skies Program. The abstract of Cipriano's Marin's paper, ``Developing Starlight connections with UNESCO sites through the Biosphere Smart" was shown in his absence. The final presentation (by Arkadiusz Berlicki, S. Kolomanksi and T. Mrozek) discussed the bi-national Izera Dark Sky Park.

  8. Evaluation of an interlaced triple procedure: penetrating keratoplasty, extracapsular cataract extraction, and nonopen-sky intraocular lens implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shuo; Wang, Bin; Zhang, Yangyang; Zhai, Hualei; Wang, Junyi; Wang, Shuang; Xie, Lixin

    2017-09-01

    To evaluate an interlaced triple procedure that involved penetrating keratoplasty (PKP), extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) using diathermy capsulotomy, and nonopen-sky intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.This retrospective study involved data from 34 patients who were diagnosed with severe corneal opacities and cataracts. These patients were divided into an interlaced procedure group (21 patients) and a traditional procedure group (13 patients). In the interlaced group, the method of continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis (CCC) was completed via diathermy capsulotomy. The donor corneal button was sutured at 8 positions (at equal intervals) using 10-0 nylon sutures, and the IOL was inserted into the capsular bag using a closed anterior chamber approach at the 10:30 to 12 o'clock positions between the sutures. In the traditional group, CCC was completed using side-port capsular forceps, and the IOL was implanted using an open anterior chamber approach.In the interlaced group, the CCC, open-sky, and total operation times were significantly shorter than in the traditional group (P < .05). Neither the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) nor corneal endothelial cell density was significantly different between the groups at 1 and 6 months after the operation.This interlaced triple procedure for the treatment of corneal diseases with cataracts appears to be feasible and practical.

  9. GASS: THE PARKES GALACTIC ALL-SKY SURVEY. I. SURVEY DESCRIPTION, GOALS, AND INITIAL DATA RELEASE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McClure-Griffiths, N. M.; Calabretta, M. R.; Ford, H. Alyson; Newton-McGee, K.

    2009-01-01

    The Parkes Galactic All-Sky Survey (GASS) is a survey of Galactic atomic hydrogen (H I) emission in the Southern sky covering declinations δ ≤ 1 0 using the Parkes Radio Telescope. The survey covers 2π steradians with an effective angular resolution of ∼16', at a velocity resolution of 1.0 km s -1 , and with an rms brightness temperature noise of 57 mK. GASS is the most sensitive, highest angular resolution survey of Galactic H I emission ever made in the Southern sky. In this paper, we outline the survey goals, describe the observations and data analysis, and present the first-stage data release. The data product is a single cube at full resolution, not corrected for stray radiation. Spectra from the survey and other data products are publicly available online.

  10. 77 FR 38048 - Blue Sky East, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-26

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER12-2068-000] Blue Sky East, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Blue Sky East...

  11. Inferences from the dark sky: Olbers' paradox revisited

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arpino, Mauro; Scardigli, Fabio

    2003-01-01

    The classical formulation of 'Olbers' paradox' consists in looking for an explanation of the fact that the sky at night is dark. We use the experimental datum of the nocturnal darkness in order to put constraints on a Newtonian cosmological model. We infer then that the stellar system in such a model should have had an origin at a finite time in the past

  12. Nocturnal infrared clear sky temperatures correlated with screen temperatures and GPS-derived PWV in southern Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maghrabi, A.; Clay, R.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Model to calculate nocturnal sky temperature in mid-latitude site was developed. → New data acquired from new instrument. → Sky temperature correlated with both GPS-derived PWV and screen temperature. → The model was tested theoretically against MODTRAN software. → The performance of the model was compared against 20 independent models. - Abstract: Infrared (IR) clear sky temperatures (Tsky), screen level temperature (T) and Precipitable Water Vapour (PWV) were collected for a period of 2 years from a coastal region of southern Australia. IR sky temperatures were derived from simple infrared detectors, which have been developed by the authors for inexpensive monitoring of cloud cover, while data for PWV were obtained from Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) transmissions. Meteorological data were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Based on these data, statistical regression analyses between nocturnal Tsky and the T and PWV (one variable fit) were conducted. Direct proportional relationships between Tsky and T and between Tsky and PWV were found. The one variable fit was further optimized by applying the multiple regression fit between Tsky and both T and PWV. The resulting multilinear model was essentially unbiased, with a correlation coefficient (R 2 ) of 0.97, mean bias error (MBE) of -2.7 x 10 -5 deg. C, and root mean square error (RMSE) of about 1.6 o C. The performance of the multilinear model was tested against a 1-year independent data set. In this case, the predictability of the model was superior, with MBE and RMSE being 0.13 deg. C and 2.23 deg. C respectively. After correcting the daytime observations for the biases caused by solar heating of the detection system, the performance of this model in calculating the daytime measurements was tested and showed MBE and RMSE values of 1.3 deg. C and 2.5 deg. C, respectively. Additionally, twenty schemes from the literature were tested and assessed for predicting the

  13. Examining Dense Data Usage near the Regions with Severe Storms in All-Sky Microwave Radiance Data Assimilation and Impacts on GEOS Hurricane Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Min-Jeong; Jin, Jianjun; McCarty, Will; El Akkraoui, Amal; Todling, Ricardo; Gelaro, Ron

    2018-01-01

    Many numerical weather prediction (NWP) centers assimilate radiances affected by clouds and precipitation from microwave sensors, with the expectation that these data can provide critical constraints on meteorological parameters in dynamically sensitive regions to make significant impacts on forecast accuracy for precipitation. The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center assimilates all-sky microwave radiance data from various microwave sensors such as all-sky GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) radiance in the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) atmospheric data assimilation system (ADAS), which includes the GEOS atmospheric model, the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) atmospheric analysis system, and the Goddard Aerosol Assimilation System (GAAS). So far, most of NWP centers apply same large data thinning distances, that are used in clear-sky radiance data to avoid correlated observation errors, to all-sky microwave radiance data. For example, NASA GMAO is applying 145 km thinning distances for most of satellite radiance data including microwave radiance data in which all-sky approach is implemented. Even with these coarse observation data usage in all-sky assimilation approach, noticeable positive impacts from all-sky microwave data on hurricane track forecasts were identified in GEOS-5 system. The motivation of this study is based on the dynamic thinning distance method developed in our all-sky framework to use of denser data in cloudy and precipitating regions due to relatively small spatial correlations of observation errors. To investigate the benefits of all-sky microwave radiance on hurricane forecasts, several hurricane cases selected between 2016-2017 are examined. The dynamic thinning distance method is utilized in our all-sky approach to understand the sources and mechanisms to explain the benefits of all-sky microwave radiance data from various microwave radiance sensors like Advanced Microwave Sounder Unit

  14. Traces on sky. Unexpected results of regular observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churyumov, K. I.; Steklov, A. F.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Dashkiev, N. G.; Steklov, E. A.

    2016-08-01

    If the fireball's track has noticeable angular size, it can be seen even in the daytime. After the flight, bolide remains a noticeable trace of a dust, dark against the light sky. If such a dust trail illuminated by the rays of the Sun, which had just hid behind the horizon (or even in the moonlight), it is visible as bright lanes in the night sky or in twilight. That's why we call it the twilight bolides. Usually, astronomical observations using of meteor patrols, carried out at night after the evening astronomical twilight. But from March 2013 to October 2015, the authors have obtained several thousands of different tracks in the sky over Kiev. Therefore, we have identified a special class of twilight observations of fireballs. We register the traces of invading to atmosphere of meteoroids of natural and artificial origin. At the same time, observe the traces of fireballs at the day-time are also possible. But they are less effective than in the twilight. Night observations of bright meteoric tracks can usually observe some seconds. While traces of the twilight bolides we observed from some minutes up to two hours, before they be scattered by atmospheric currents. It opens the great prospects for low-cost direct experiments probing of these tracks by using, for example, the astronomical aviation. We propose the twilight tracks are classified into the following types: AMT - aero-meteorological tracks, AST - aero-space, ATT - aero-technical, and NST - not yet classified tracks of unknown nature. During the short period of our observations (from March 2013 to 2016), was fixed falling at least a dozen fragments of cometary nuclei, at least five of sufficiently large and dozens of smaller fragments of meteoroids. The results of our observations also showed that during the morning and evening twilight over Kiev clearly visible the plume of aerosols of technical nature from the plants, factories and other production facilities.

  15. Determining Light Pollution of the Global Sky: GLOBE at Night

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, S.; Meymaris, K.; Ward, D.; Walker, C.; Russell, R.; Pompea, S.; Salisbury, D.

    2006-05-01

    GLOBE at Night is an international science event designed to observe and record the visible stars as a means of measuring light pollution in a given location. Increased and robust understanding of our environment requires learning opportunities that take place outside of the conventional K-12 classroom and beyond the confines of the school day. This hands-on learning activity extended the traditional classroom and school day last March with a week of nighttime sky observations involving teachers, students and their families. The quality of the night sky for stellar observations is impacted by several factors including human activities. By observing cloud cover and locating specific constellations in the sky, students from around the world learned how the lights in their community contribute to light pollution, exploring the relationship between science, technology and their society. Students learned that light pollution impacts more than just the visibility of stars at night. Lights at night impact both the biology and ecology of many species in our environment. Students were able to participate in this global scientific campaign by submitting their observations through an online database, allowing for authentic worldwide research and analysis by participating scientists. Students and their families learned how latitude and longitude coordinates provide a location system to map and analyze the observation data submitted from around the globe. The collected data is available online for use by students, teachers and scientists worldwide to assess how the quality of the night sky varies around the world. This session will share how students and scientists across the globe can explore and analyze the results of this exciting campaign. GLOBE at Night is a collaborative effort sponsored by The GLOBE Program, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), Centro de Apoyo a la Didactica de la Astronomia (CADIAS), Windows to the Universe, and ESRI. The GLOBE Program is

  16. First results of the spatial and temporal variation of the night sky brightness in the surroundings of Valencia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco, E.; Morales Rubio, A.; Zamorano, J.; Sánchez de Miguel, A.

    2017-03-01

    In recent years a study of the quality of the night sky in the surroundings of the metropolitan area of Valencia has been done. To achieve this, we used a Sky Quality Meter (SQM-LE) together with a GPS in order to cover a large number of routes from very bright locations near the city of Valencia to very dark areas located more than 100 kilometres away. The objectives of the study were to determine the variation of light pollution with respect to the distance to Valencia, locate areas with a high quality night sky in order to claim for their protection and verify the contribution of smaller towns in the brightness of the sky. Since light pollution also affects biodiversity, we have especially studied its influence on the night sky close to natural parks. Night routes have been done in the interior and vicinity of the Parc de la Calderona, the Albufera and especially the Parc del T ´uria. Our study concludes that these parks are completely degraded and need an urgent protection plan against light pollution. Finally, we present the first results of our fixed detectors SQM-LU scattered throughout the Valencian territory.

  17. ACTPol: On-Sky Performance and Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, E.; Beall, J.; Bond, J. R.; Cho, H. M.; Datta, R.; Devlin, M. J.; Dunner, R.; Fox, A. E.; Gallardo, P.; Hasselfield, M.; hide

    2014-01-01

    ACTPol is the polarization-sensitive receiver on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope. ACTPol enables sensitive millimeter wavelength measurements of the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at arcminute angular scales. These measurements are designed to explore the process of cosmic structure formation, constrain or determine the sum of the neutrino masses, probe dark energy, and provide a foundation for a host of other cosmological tests. We present an overview of the first season of ACTPol observations focusing on the optimization and calibration of the first detector array as well as detailing the on-sky performance.

  18. Success of sky-polarimetric Viking navigation: revealing the chance Viking sailors could reach Greenland from Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Száz, Dénes; Horváth, Gábor

    2018-04-01

    According to a famous hypothesis, Viking sailors could navigate along the latitude between Norway and Greenland by means of sky polarization in cloudy weather using a sun compass and sunstone crystals. Using data measured in earlier atmospheric optical and psychophysical experiments, here we determine the success rate of this sky-polarimetric Viking navigation. Simulating 1000 voyages between Norway and Greenland with varying cloudiness at summer solstice and spring equinox, we revealed the chance with which Viking sailors could reach Greenland under the varying weather conditions of a 3-week-long journey as a function of the navigation periodicity Δ t if they analysed sky polarization with calcite, cordierite or tourmaline sunstones. Examples of voyage routes are also presented. Our results show that the sky-polarimetric navigation is surprisingly successful on both days of the spring equinox and summer solstice even under cloudy conditions if the navigator determined the north direction periodically at least once in every 3 h, independently of the type of sunstone used for the analysis of sky polarization. This explains why the Vikings could rule the Atlantic Ocean for 300 years and could reach North America without a magnetic compass. Our findings suggest that it is not only the navigation periodicity in itself that is important for higher navigation success rates, but also the distribution of times when the navigation procedure carried out is as symmetrical as possible with respect to the time point of real noon.

  19. Success of sky-polarimetric Viking navigation: revealing the chance Viking sailors could reach Greenland from Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Száz, Dénes; Horváth, Gábor

    2018-04-01

    According to a famous hypothesis, Viking sailors could navigate along the latitude between Norway and Greenland by means of sky polarization in cloudy weather using a sun compass and sunstone crystals. Using data measured in earlier atmospheric optical and psychophysical experiments, here we determine the success rate of this sky-polarimetric Viking navigation. Simulating 1000 voyages between Norway and Greenland with varying cloudiness at summer solstice and spring equinox, we revealed the chance with which Viking sailors could reach Greenland under the varying weather conditions of a 3-week-long journey as a function of the navigation periodicity Δt if they analysed sky polarization with calcite, cordierite or tourmaline sunstones. Examples of voyage routes are also presented. Our results show that the sky-polarimetric navigation is surprisingly successful on both days of the spring equinox and summer solstice even under cloudy conditions if the navigator determined the north direction periodically at least once in every 3 h, independently of the type of sunstone used for the analysis of sky polarization. This explains why the Vikings could rule the Atlantic Ocean for 300 years and could reach North America without a magnetic compass. Our findings suggest that it is not only the navigation periodicity in itself that is important for higher navigation success rates, but also the distribution of times when the navigation procedure carried out is as symmetrical as possible with respect to the time point of real noon.

  20. Adaptive modeling of sky for video processing and coding applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zafarifar, B.; With, de P.H.N.; Lagendijk, R.L.; Weber, Jos H.; Berg, van den A.F.M.

    2006-01-01

    Video content analysis for still- and moving images can be used for various applications, such as high-level semantic-driven operations or pixel-level contentdependent image manipulation. Within video content analysis, sky regions of an image form visually important objects, for which interesting

  1. The Transient High Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, P. T.

    2016-04-01

    The Transient High Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor is a mission which will be proposed for the ESA M5 call. THESEUS will address multiple components in the Early Universe ESA Cosmic Vision theme:4.1 Early Universe,4.2 The Universe taking shape, and4.3 The evolving violent Universe.THESEUS aims at vastly increasing the discovery space of the high energy transient phenomena over the entire cosmic history. This is achieved via a unique payload providing an unprecedented combination of: (i) wide and deep sky monitoring in a broad energy band(0.3 keV-20 MeV; (ii) focusing capabilities in the soft X-ray band granting large grasp and high angular resolution; and (iii) on board near-IR capabilities for immediate transient identification and first redshift estimate.The THESEUS payload consists of: (i) the Soft X--ray Imager (SXI), a set of Lobster Eye (0.3--6 keV) telescopes with CCD detectors covering a total FOV of 1 sr; (ii) the X--Gamma-rays spectrometer (XGS), a non-imaging spectrometer (XGS) based on SDD+CsI, covering the same FOV than the Lobster telescope extending the THESEUS energy band up to 20 MeV; and (iii) a 70cm class InfraRed Telescope (IRT) observing up to 2 microns with imaging and moderate spectral capabilities.The main scientific goals of THESEUS are to:(a) Explore the Early Universe (cosmic dawn and reionization era) by unveiling the Gamma--Ray Burst (GRBs) population in the first billion years}, determining when did the first stars form, and investigating the re-ionization epoch, the interstellar medium (ISM) and the intergalactic medium (IGM) at high redshifts.(b) Perform an unprecedented deep survey of the soft X-ray transient Universe in order to fill the present gap in the discovery space of new classes of transient; provide a fundamental step forward in the comprehension of the physics of various classes of Galactic and extra--Galactic transients, and provide real time trigger and accurate locations of transients for follow-up with next

  2. Kinesthetic Astronomy: Significant Upgrades to the Sky Time Lesson that Support Student Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, C. A.; Zawaski, M.

    2004-12-01

    This paper will report on a significant upgrade to the first in a series of innovative, experiential lessons we call Kinesthetic Astronomy. The Sky Time lesson reconnects students with the astronomical meaning of the day, year, and seasons. Like all Kinesthetic Astronomy lessons, it teaches basic astronomical concepts through choreographed bodily movements and positions that provide educational sensory experiences. They are intended for sixth graders up through adult learners in both formal and informal educational settings. They emphasize astronomical concepts and phenomenon that people can readily encounter in their "everyday" lives such as time, seasons, and sky motions of the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets. Kinesthetic Astronomy lesson plans are fully aligned with national science education standards, both in content and instructional practice. Our lessons offer a complete learning cycle with written assessment opportunities now embedded throughout the lesson. We have substantially strengthened the written assessment options for the Sky Time lesson to help students translate their kinesthetic and visual learning into the verbal-linguistic and mathematical-logical realms of expression. Field testing with non-science undergraduates, middle school science teachers and students, Junior Girl Scouts, museum education staff, and outdoor educators has been providing evidence that Kinesthetic Astronomy techniques allow learners to achieve a good grasp of concepts that are much more difficult to learn in more conventional ways such as via textbooks or even computer animation. Field testing of the Sky Time lesson has also led us to significant changes from the previous version to support student learning. We will report on the nature of these changes.

  3. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey COADD: 275 deg2 of deep Sloan Digital Sky Survey imaging on stripe 82

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Annis, James; Soares-Santos, Marcelle; Dodelson, Scott; Hao, Jiangang; Jester, Sebastian; Johnston, David E.; Kubo, Jeffrey M.; Lampeitl, Hubert; Lin, Huan; Miknaitis, Gajus; Yanny, Brian; Strauss, Michael A.; Gunn, James E.; Lupton, Robert H.; Becker, Andrew C.; Ivezić, Željko; Fan, Xiaohui; Jiang, Linhua; Seo, Hee-Jong; Simet, Melanie

    2014-01-01

    We present details of the construction and characterization of the coaddition of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82 ugriz imaging data. This survey consists of 275 deg 2 of repeated scanning by the SDSS camera over –50° ≤ α ≤ 60° and –1.°25 ≤ δ ≤ +1.°25 centered on the Celestial Equator. Each piece of sky has ∼20 runs contributing and thus reaches ∼2 mag fainter than the SDSS single pass data, i.e., to r ∼ 23.5 for galaxies. We discuss the image processing of the coaddition, the modeling of the point-spread function (PSF), the calibration, and the production of standard SDSS catalogs. The data have an r-band median seeing of 1.''1 and are calibrated to ≤1%. Star color-color, number counts, and PSF size versus modeled size plots show that the modeling of the PSF is good enough for precision five-band photometry. Structure in the PSF model versus magnitude plot indicates minor PSF modeling errors, leading to misclassification of stars as galaxies, as verified using VVDS spectroscopy. There are a variety of uses for this wide-angle deep imaging data, including galactic structure, photometric redshift computation, cluster finding and cross wavelength measurements, weak lensing cluster mass calibrations, and cosmic shear measurements.

  4. Solar Wind Charge Exchange Contribution To The ROSAT Sky Survey Maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uprety, Y.; Chiao, M.; Collier, M. R.; Cravens, T.; Galeazzi, M.; Koutroumpa, D.; Kuntz, K. D.; Lallement, R.; Lepri, S. T.; Liu, W.; hide

    2016-01-01

    DXL (Diffuse X-ray emission from the Local Galaxy) is a sounding rocket mission designed to estimate the contribution of solar wind charge eXchange (SWCX) to the diffuse X-ray background and to help determine the properties of the Local Hot Bubble. The detectors are large area thin-window proportional counters with a spectral response that is similar to that of the PSPC (Position Sensitive Proportional Counters) used in the ROSAT All Sky Survey (RASS). A direct comparison of DXL and RASS data for the same part of the sky viewed from quite different vantage points in the solar system, and the assumption of approximate isotropy for the solar wind, allowed us to quantify the SWCX contribution to all six RASS bands (R1-R7, excluding R3). We find that the SWCX contribution at l = 140 degrees, b = 0 degrees, where the DXL path crosses the Galactic plane, is 33 percent plus or minus 6 percent (statistical) plus or minus 12 percent (systematic) for R1, 44 percent plus or minus 6 percent plus or minus 5 percent for R2, 18 percent plus or minus 12 percent plus or minus 11 percent for R4, 14 percent plus or minus 11 percent plus or minus 9 percent for R5, and negligible for the R6 and R7 bands. Reliable models for the distribution of neutral H and He in the solar system permit estimation of the contribution of interplanetary SWCX emission over the the whole sky and correction of the RASS maps. We find that the average SWCX contribution in the whole sky is 26 percent plus or minus 6 percent plus or minus 13 percent for R1, 30 percent plus or minus 4 percent plus or minus 4 percent for R2, 8 percent plus or minus 5 percent plus or minus 5 percent for R4, 6 percent plus or minus 4 percent plus or minus 4 percent for R5, and negligible for R6 and R7.

  5. Short timescale variability in the faint sky variability survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morales-Rueda, L.; Groot, P.J.; Augusteijn, T.; Nelemans, G.A.; Vreeswijk, P.M.; Besselaar, E.J.M. van den

    2006-01-01

    We present the V-band variability analysis of the Faint Sky Variability Survey (FSVS). The FSVS combines colour and time variability information, from timescales of 24 minutes to tens of days, down to V = 24. We find that �1% of all point sources are variable along the main sequence reaching �3.5%

  6. A Lookup-Table-Based Approach to Estimating Surface Solar Irradiance from Geostationary and Polar-Orbiting Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hailong Zhang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Incoming surface solar irradiance (SSI is essential for calculating Earth’s surface radiation budget and is a key parameter for terrestrial ecological modeling and climate change research. Remote sensing images from geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites provide an opportunity for SSI estimation through directly retrieving atmospheric and land-surface parameters. This paper presents a new scheme for estimating SSI from the visible and infrared channels of geostationary meteorological and polar-orbiting satellite data. Aerosol optical thickness and cloud microphysical parameters were retrieved from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES system images by interpolating lookup tables of clear and cloudy skies, respectively. SSI was estimated using pre-calculated offline lookup tables with different atmospheric input data of clear and cloudy skies. The lookup tables were created via the comprehensive radiative transfer model, Santa Barbara Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer (SBDART, to balance computational efficiency and accuracy. The atmospheric attenuation effects considered in our approach were water vapor absorption and aerosol extinction for clear skies, while cloud parameters were the only atmospheric input for cloudy-sky SSI estimation. The approach was validated using one-year pyranometer measurements from seven stations in the SURFRAD (SURFace RADiation budget network. The results of the comparison for 2012 showed that the estimated SSI agreed with ground measurements with correlation coefficients of 0.94, 0.69, and 0.89 with a bias of 26.4 W/m2, −5.9 W/m2, and 14.9 W/m2 for clear-sky, cloudy-sky, and all-sky conditions, respectively. The overall root mean square error (RMSE of instantaneous SSI was 80.0 W/m2 (16.8%, 127.6 W/m2 (55.1%, and 99.5 W/m2 (25.5% for clear-sky, cloudy-sky (overcast sky and partly cloudy sky, and all-sky (clear-sky and cloudy-sky conditions, respectively. A comparison with other state

  7. High Turbidity Solis Clear Sky Model: Development and Validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Ineichen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The Solis clear sky model is a spectral scheme based on radiative transfer calculations and the Lambert–Beer relation. Its broadband version is a simplified fast analytical version; it is limited to broadband aerosol optical depths lower than 0.45, which is a weakness when applied in countries with very high turbidity such as China or India. In order to extend the use of the original simplified version of the model for high turbidity values, we developed a new version of the broadband Solis model based on radiative transfer calculations, valid for turbidity values up to 7, for the three components, global, beam, and diffuse, and for the four aerosol types defined by Shettle and Fenn. A validation of low turbidity data acquired in Geneva shows slightly better results than the previous version. On data acquired at sites presenting higher turbidity data, the bias stays within ±4% for the beam and the global irradiances, and the standard deviation around 5% for clean and stable condition data and around 12% for questionable data and variable sky conditions.

  8. Speed control issues for tunnel-in-the-sky displays with predictor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachs, Gottfried; Sperl, Roman

    2001-08-01

    Speed control issues are considered for tunnel-in-the-sky displays with a predictor presenting guidance information in a 3-dimensional format for flight path control. Factors driving the predictor design are described. With reference to the resulting predictor control law, it is shown that the pilot-predictor-aircraft system is stable for operation on the frontside of the power-required curve and unstable for operation on the reverse. This instability can be removed by thrust control. It is shown that this control loop is supported by the predictor control law because of favorable coupling effects between the two loops involved. Furthermore, an appropriate speed indication in the tunnel-in-the-sky display is considered an aid in manual speed control. The theoretical findings are supported by experimental results from pilot-in-the-loop simulations.

  9. Protecting Dark Skies in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R. Chris; Sanhueza, Pedro; Phillips, Mark

    2018-01-01

    Current projections indicate that Chile will host approximately 70% of the astronomical collecting area on Earth by 2030, augmenting the enormous area of ALMA with that of three next-generation optical telescopes: LSST, GMTO, and E-ELT. These cutting-edge facilities represent billions of dollars of investment in the astronomical facilities hosted in Chile. The Chilean government, Chilean astronomical community, and the international observatories in Chile have recognized that these investments are threatened by light pollution, and have formed a strong collaboration to work at managing the threats. We will provide an update on the work being done in Chile, ranging from training municipalities about new lighting regulations to exploring international recognition of the dark sky sites of Northern Chile.

  10. Lighting characteristics of complex fenestration systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laouadi, A. [National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Inst. for Research in Construction; Parekh, A. [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). CANMET Energy Technology Centre, Sustainable Buildings and Community Group

    2006-07-01

    Innovations in window technologies have been motivated by the need for energy conservation in buildings. Shading devices and windows with complex glazings such as smart glazings, translucent and transparent insulation, and patterned glass are among the newly developed products. Although complex fenestration systems (CFS) have superior energy performance, a potential glare problem can have a significant effect on the indoor environment as experienced by occupants. A good view and glare-free environment are important for the commercialization of fenestration products. This study addressed the development of new lighting quality indices for the outdoor view, indoor view and window luminance. It was noted that the outdoor view gives a feeling of connection to the outside, an indoor view affects the feelings of privacy, while window luminance indicates the potential risk of discomfort glare. The study applied the new lighting quality indices on a typical complex fenestration system consisting of a double clear window combined with different types of an interior perforated shading screen with opaque and translucent materials. According to simulation results, the light-coloured screen has a significant impact on the outdoor view and window's luminance, and depends largely on the sky conditions. Under clear sky conditions, the luminance of a window with a translucent screen can increase by up to 80 per cent compared to overcast sky conditions. This study aspires to have these indices be part of a fenestration product ratings for indoor environment quality. 19 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs.

  11. BIG SKY CARBON SEQUESTRATION PARTNERSHIP

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Susan M. Capalbo

    2004-06-01

    The Big Sky Partnership, led by Montana State University, is comprised of research institutions, public entities and private sectors organizations, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Nez Perce Tribe. Efforts during the second performance period fall into four areas: evaluation of sources and carbon sequestration sinks; development of GIS-based reporting framework; designing an integrated suite of monitoring, measuring, and verification technologies; and initiating a comprehensive education and outreach program. At the first two Partnership meetings the groundwork was put in place to provide an assessment of capture and storage capabilities for CO{sub 2} utilizing the resources found in the Partnership region (both geological and terrestrial sinks), that would complement the ongoing DOE research. The region has a diverse array of geological formations that could provide storage options for carbon in one or more of its three states. Likewise, initial estimates of terrestrial sinks indicate a vast potential for increasing and maintaining soil C on forested, agricultural, and reclaimed lands. Both options include the potential for offsetting economic benefits to industry and society. Steps have been taken to assure that the GIS-based framework is consistent among types of sinks within the Big Sky Partnership area and with the efforts of other western DOE partnerships. Efforts are also being made to find funding to include Wyoming in the coverage areas for both geological and terrestrial sinks and sources. The Partnership recognizes the critical importance of measurement, monitoring, and verification technologies to support not only carbon trading but all policies and programs that DOE and other agencies may want to pursue in support of GHG mitigation. The efforts begun in developing and implementing MMV technologies for geological sequestration reflect this concern. Research is also underway to identify and validate best management practices for

  12. A new all-sky map of Galactic high-velocity clouds from the 21-cm HI4PI survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westmeier, Tobias

    2018-02-01

    High-velocity clouds (HVCs) are neutral or ionized gas clouds in the vicinity of the Milky Way that are characterized by high radial velocities inconsistent with participation in the regular rotation of the Galactic disc. Previous attempts to create a homogeneous all-sky H I map of HVCs have been hampered by a combination of poor angular resolution, limited surface brightness sensitivity and suboptimal sampling. Here, a new and improved H I map of Galactic HVCs based on the all-sky HI4PI survey is presented. The new map is fully sampled and provides significantly better angular resolution (16.2 versus 36 arcmin) and column density sensitivity (2.3 versus 3.7 × 1018 cm-2 at the native resolution) than the previously available LAB survey. The new HVC map resolves many of the major HVC complexes in the sky into an intricate network of narrow H I filaments and clumps that were not previously resolved by the LAB survey. The resulting sky coverage fraction of high-velocity H I emission above a column density level of 2 × 1018 cm-2 is approximately 15 per cent, which reduces to about 13 per cent when the Magellanic Clouds and other non-HVC emission are removed. The differential sky coverage fraction as a function of column density obeys a truncated power law with an exponent of -0.93 and a turnover point at about 5 × 1019 cm-2. H I column density and velocity maps of the HVC sky are made publicly available as FITS images for scientific use by the community.

  13. Sloan Digital Sky Survey Photometric Calibration Revisited

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marriner, John

    2012-01-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey calibration is revisited to obtain the most accurate photometric calibration. A small but significant error is found in the flat-fielding of the Photometric telescope used for calibration. Two SDSS star catalogs are compared and the average difference in magnitude as a function of right ascension and declination exhibits small systematic errors in relative calibration. The photometric transformation from the SDSS Photometric Telescope to the 2.5 m telescope is recomputed and compared to synthetic magnitudes computed from measured filter bandpasses.

  14. Polygons and practice in Skies of Arcadia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoya Street

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper features research carried out at the Victoria and Albert Museum into the design history of Sega’s 2000 Dreamcast title, Skies of Arcadia (released in Japan as Eternal Arcadia. It was released by Overworks, a subsidiary of Sega, at an interesting point in Japanese computer game history. A new generation of video game consoles was in its infancy, and much speculation in the industry surrounded how networked gaming and large, open, tridimensional game worlds would change game design in the years ahead.

  15. The stargazer's guide to the night sky

    CERN Document Server

    Lisle, Jason, Dr

    2012-01-01

    Explore the night sky, identify stars, constellations, and even planets. Stargaze with a telescope, binoculars, or even your naked eye. Allow Dr. Jason Lisle, a research scientist with a masters and PhD in astrophysics, to guide you in examining the beauty of God's Creation with 150 full color star-charts. Learn the best ways and optimal times to observe planets and stars with easy to use illustrations. Create or expand the hobby of stargazing; an outdoor, educational hobby to enjoy with friends or family.

  16. Sloan Digital Sky Survey Photometric Calibration Revisited

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marriner, John; /Fermilab

    2012-06-29

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey calibration is revisited to obtain the most accurate photometric calibration. A small but significant error is found in the flat-fielding of the Photometric telescope used for calibration. Two SDSS star catalogs are compared and the average difference in magnitude as a function of right ascension and declination exhibits small systematic errors in relative calibration. The photometric transformation from the SDSS Photometric Telescope to the 2.5 m telescope is recomputed and compared to synthetic magnitudes computed from measured filter bandpasses.

  17. Astronomy and civilization in the new enlightenment passions of the skies

    CERN Document Server

    Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa

    2011-01-01

    This volume presents astronomy as the fulcrum of the sciences, giving full expression to the human passion for the skies. It illustrates how the interplay between human beings and the celestial realm has informed civilizational trends.

  18. All-sky analysis of the general relativistic galaxy power spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Jaiyul; Desjacques, Vincent

    2013-07-01

    We perform an all-sky analysis of the general relativistic galaxy power spectrum using the well-developed spherical Fourier decomposition. Spherical Fourier analysis expresses the observed galaxy fluctuation in terms of the spherical harmonics and spherical Bessel functions that are angular and radial eigenfunctions of the Helmholtz equation, providing a natural orthogonal basis for all-sky analysis of the large-scale mode measurements. Accounting for all the relativistic effects in galaxy clustering, we compute the spherical power spectrum and its covariance matrix and compare it to the standard three-dimensional power spectrum to establish a connection. The spherical power spectrum recovers the three-dimensional power spectrum at each wave number k with its angular dependence μk encoded in angular multipole l, and the contributions of the line-of-sight projection to galaxy clustering such as the gravitational lensing effect can be readily accommodated in the spherical Fourier analysis. A complete list of formulas for computing the relativistic spherical galaxy power spectrum is also presented.

  19. Exploring Ancient Skies A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, David H

    2011-01-01

    Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers—events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Explori...

  20. Second ROSAT all-sky survey (2RXS) source catalogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boller, Th.; Freyberg, M. J.; Trümper, J.; Haberl, F.; Voges, W.; Nandra, K.

    2016-04-01

    Aims: We present the second ROSAT all-sky survey source catalogue, hereafter referred to as the 2RXS catalogue. This is the second publicly released ROSAT catalogue of point-like sources obtained from the ROSAT all-sky survey (RASS) observations performed with the position-sensitive proportional counter (PSPC) between June 1990 and August 1991, and is an extended and revised version of the bright and faint source catalogues. Methods: We used the latest version of the RASS processing to produce overlapping X-ray images of 6.4° × 6.4° sky regions. To create a source catalogue, a likelihood-based detection algorithm was applied to these, which accounts for the variable point-spread function (PSF) across the PSPC field of view. Improvements in the background determination compared to 1RXS were also implemented. X-ray control images showing the source and background extraction regions were generated, which were visually inspected. Simulations were performed to assess the spurious source content of the 2RXS catalogue. X-ray spectra and light curves were extracted for the 2RXS sources, with spectral and variability parameters derived from these products. Results: We obtained about 135 000 X-ray detections in the 0.1-2.4 keV energy band down to a likelihood threshold of 6.5, as adopted in the 1RXS faint source catalogue. Our simulations show that the expected spurious content of the catalogue is a strong function of detection likelihood, and the full catalogue is expected to contain about 30% spurious detections. A more conservative likelihood threshold of 9, on the other hand, yields about 71 000 detections with a 5% spurious fraction. We recommend thresholds appropriate to the scientific application. X-ray images and overlaid X-ray contour lines provide an additional user product to evaluate the detections visually, and we performed our own visual inspections to flag uncertain detections. Intra-day variability in the X-ray light curves was quantified based on the

  1. Citizen Sky, Solving the Mystery of epsilon Aurigae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Rebecca; Price, A.; Kloppenborg, B.; Henden, A.

    2010-01-01

    Citizen Sky is a multi-year, NSF funded citizen science project involving the bright star eps Aur. The project was conceived by the IYA 2009 working group on Research Experiences for Students, Teachers, and Citizen-Scientists. Citizen Sky goes beyond simple observing to include a major data analysis component. The goal is to introduce the participant to the full scientific process from background research to paper writing for a peer-reviewed journal. It begins with a 10 Star Training Program of several types of binary and transient variable stars that are easy to observe from suburban locations with the naked eye. Participants then move on to monitoring the rare and mysterious 2009-2011 eclipse (already underway) of epsilon Aurigae. This object undergoes eclipses only every 27.1 years and each eclipse lasts nearly two years. The star is bright enough to be seen with the naked eye from most urban areas. Training will be provided in observing techniques as well as basic data analysis of photometric and visual datasets (light curve and period analysis). The project also involves two public workshops, one on observing (already held in August of 2009) and one on data analysis and scientific paper writing (to be held in 2010.) This project has been made possible by the National Science Foundation.

  2. On the independent points in the sky for the search of periodic gravitational wave

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahay, S.K.

    2009-01-01

    In the search of the periodic gravitational wave we investigate independent points in the sky assuming the noise power spectral density to be flat. We have made an analysis with different initial azimuths of the Earth for a week data set. The analysis shows significant difference in the independent points in the sky under search. We numerically obtain an approximate relation to make a trade-off between computational cost and sensitivities. We also discuss the feasibility of the coherent search in small frequency band in reference to advanced LIGO. (authors)

  3. Analyzing the Gamma-Ray Sky with Wavelets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balaji, Bhaskaran [Johns Hopkins U.; Cholis, Ilias [Johns Hopkins U.; Fox, Patrick J. [Fermilab; McDermott, Samuel D. [Fermilab

    2018-03-05

    We analyze the gamma-ray sky at energies of 0.5 to 50 GeV using the undecimated wavelet transform on the sphere. Focusing on the inner $60^{\\circ} \\times 60^{\\circ}$ of the sky, we identify and characterize four separate residuals beyond the expected Milky Way diffuse emission. We detect the \\textit{Fermi} Bubbles, finding compelling evidence that they are diffuse in nature and contain very little small-scale structure. We detect the "cocoon" inside the Southern Bubble, and we also identify its northern counterpart above 2 GeV. The Northern Cocoon lies along the same axis but is $\\sim 30 \\%$ dimmer than the southern one. We characterize the Galactic center excess, which we find extends up to $20^{\\circ}$ in $|b|$. At latitudes $|b| \\leq 5^{\\circ}$ we find evidence for power in small angular scales that could be the result of point-source contributions, but for $|b| \\geq 5^{\\circ}$ the Galactic center excess is dominantly diffuse in its nature. Our findings show that either the Galactic center excess and {\\it Fermi} Bubbles connect smoothly or that the Bubbles brighten significantly below $15^\\circ$ in latitude. We find that the Galactic center excess appears off-center by a few degrees towards negative $\\ell$. Additionally, we find and characterize two emissions along the Galactic disk centered at $\\ell \\simeq +25^{\\circ}$ and $-20^{\\circ}$. These emissions are significantly more elongated along the Galactic disk than the Galactic center excess.

  4. WATCHDOG: A COMPREHENSIVE ALL-SKY DATABASE OF GALACTIC BLACK HOLE X-RAY BINARIES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tetarenko, B. E.; Sivakoff, G. R.; Heinke, C. O.; Gladstone, J. C.

    2016-01-01

    With the advent of more sensitive all-sky instruments, the transient universe is being probed in greater depth than ever before. Taking advantage of available resources, we have established a comprehensive database of black hole (and black hole candidate) X-ray binary (BHXB) activity between 1996 and 2015 as revealed by all-sky instruments, scanning surveys, and select narrow-field X-ray instruments on board the INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, Monitor of All-Sky X-ray Image, Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, and Swift telescopes; the Whole-sky Alberta Time-resolved Comprehensive black-Hole Database Of the Galaxy or WATCHDOG. Over the past two decades, we have detected 132 transient outbursts, tracked and classified behavior occurring in 47 transient and 10 persistently accreting BHs, and performed a statistical study on a number of outburst properties across the Galactic population. We find that outbursts undergone by BHXBs that do not reach the thermally dominant accretion state make up a substantial fraction (∼40%) of the Galactic transient BHXB outburst sample over the past ∼20 years. Our findings suggest that this “hard-only” behavior, observed in transient and persistently accreting BHXBs, is neither a rare nor recent phenomenon and may be indicative of an underlying physical process, relatively common among binary BHs, involving the mass-transfer rate onto the BH remaining at a low level rather than increasing as the outburst evolves. We discuss how the larger number of these “hard-only” outbursts and detected outbursts in general have significant implications for both the luminosity function and mass-transfer history of the Galactic BHXB population

  5. Aerosol Properties Derived from Airborne Sky Radiance and Direct Beam Measurements in Recent NASA and DoE Field Campaigns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redemann, J.; Flynn, C. J.; Shinozuka, Y.; Russell, P. B.; Kacenelenbogen, M.; Segal-Rosenheimer, M.; Livingston, J. M.; Schmid, B.; Dunagan, S. E.; Johnson, R. R.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) ground-based suite of sunphotometers provides measurements of spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD), precipitable water and spectral sky radiance, which can be inverted to retrieve aerosol microphysical properties that are critical to assessments of aerosol-climate interactions. Because of data quality criteria and sampling constraints, there are significant limitations to the temporal and spatial coverage of AERONET data and their representativeness for global aerosol conditions.The 4STAR (Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research) instrument, jointly developed by NASA Ames and PNNL (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) with NASA Goddard collaboration, combines airborne sun tracking and AERONET-like sky scanning with spectroscopic detection. Being an airborne instrument, 4STAR has the potential to fill gaps in the AERONET data set. The 4STAR instrument operated successfully in the SEAC4RS (Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys) experiment in Aug./Sep. 2013 aboard the NASA DC-8 and in the DoE (Department of Energy)-sponsored TCAP (Two Column Aerosol Project, July 2012 & Feb. 2013) experiment aboard the DoE G-1 aircraft. 4STAR provided direct beam measurements of hyperspectral AOD, columnar trace gas retrievals (H2O, O3, NO2), and the first ever airborne hyperspectral sky radiance scans, which can be inverted to yield the same products as AERONET ground-based observations. In this presentation, we provide an overview of the new 4STAR capabilities, with an emphasis on 26 high-quality sky radiance measurements carried out by 4STAR in SEAC4RS. We compare collocated 4STAR and AERONET sky radiances, as well as their retrievals of aerosol microphysical properties for a subset of the available case studies. We summarize the particle property and air-mass characterization studies made possible by the combined 4STAR direct beam and sky radiance

  6. A SEARCH FOR CONCENTRIC CIRCLES IN THE 7 YEAR WILKINSON MICROWAVE ANISOTROPY PROBE TEMPERATURE SKY MAPS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wehus, I. K.; Eriksen, H. K.

    2011-01-01

    In this Letter, we search for concentric circles with low variance in cosmic microwave background sky maps. The detection of such circles would hint at new physics beyond the current cosmological concordance model, which states that the universe is isotropic and homogeneous, and filled with Gaussian fluctuations. We first describe a set of methods designed to detect such circles, based on matched filters and χ 2 statistics, and then apply these methods to the best current publicly available data, the 7 year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) temperature sky maps. We compare the observations with an ensemble of 1000 Gaussian ΛCDM simulations. Based on these tests, we conclude that the WMAP sky maps are fully compatible with the Gaussian and isotropic hypothesis as measured by low-variance ring statistics.

  7. Making beautiful deep-sky images astrophotography with affordable equipment and software

    CERN Document Server

    Parker, Greg

    2007-01-01

    This book is based around the author's beautiful and sometimes awe-inspiring color images and mosaics of deep-sky objects. The book describes how similar "Hubble class" images can be created by amateur astronomers in their back garden.

  8. One-point fluctuation analysis of the high-energy neutrino sky

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feyereisen, Michael R.; Tamborra, Irene; Ando, Shin'ichiro

    2017-01-01

    We perform the first one-point fluctuation analysis of the high-energy neutrino sky. This method reveals itself to be especially suited to contemporary neutrino data, as it allows to study the properties of the astrophysical components of the high-energy flux detected by the IceCube telescope, even...

  9. Citizen Sky, An Update on the AAVSO's New Citizen Science Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Rebecca; Price, A.; Henden, A.; Stencel, R.; Kloppenborg, B.

    2011-01-01

    Citizen Sky is a multi-year, NSF-funded, citizen science project focusing on the bright variable star, epsilon Aurigae. Citizen Sky goes beyond simple observing to include a major data analysis component. The goal is to introduce the participant to the full scientific process from background research to paper writing for a peer-reviewed journal. The first year of the project, 2009-10, was dedicated to developing project infrastructure, educating participants about epsilon Aurigae, and training these participants to observe the star and report their data. Looking forward, years two and three of the project will focus on assembling teams of participants to work on their own analysis and research. Results will be published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of the AAVSO. This project has been made possible by the National Science Foundation.

  10. MOXE: An X-ray all-sky monitor for Soviet Spectrum-X-Gamma Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priedhorsky, W.; Fenimore, E. E.; Moss, C. E.; Kelley, R. L.; Holt, S. S.

    1989-01-01

    A Monitoring Monitoring X-Ray Equipment (MOXE) is being developed for the Soviet Spectrum-X-Gamma Mission. MOXE is an X-ray all-sky monitor based on array of pinhole cameras, to be provided via a collaboration between Goddard Space Flight Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory. The objectives are to alert other observers on Spectrum-X-Gamma and other platforms of interesting transient activity, and to synoptically monitor the X-ray sky and study long-term changes in X-ray binaries. MOXE will be sensitive to sources as faint as 2 milliCrab (5 sigma) in 1 day, and cover the 2 to 20 KeV band.

  11. Sky alert! when satellites fail

    CERN Document Server

    Johnson, Les

    2013-01-01

    How much do we depend on space satellites? Defense, travel, agriculture, weather forecasting, mobile phones and broadband, commerce...the list seems endless. But what would our live be like if the unimaginable happened and, by accident or design, those space assets disappeared? Sky Alert! explores what our world would be like, looking in turn at areas where the loss could have catastrophic effects. The book - demonstrates our dependence on space technology and satellites; - outlines the effect on our economy, defense, and daily lives if satellites and orbiting spacecraft were destroyed; - illustrates the danger of dead satellites, spent rocket stages, and space debris colliding with a functioning satellites; - demonstrates the threat of dramatically increased radiation levels associated with geomagnetic storms; - introduces space as a potential area of conflict between nations.

  12. Evolution of the Air Toxics under the Big Sky Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marra, Nancy; Vanek, Diana; Hester, Carolyn; Holian, Andrij; Ward, Tony; Adams, Earle; Knuth, Randy

    2011-01-01

    As a yearlong exploration of air quality and its relation to respiratory health, the "Air Toxics Under the Big Sky" program offers opportunities for students to learn and apply science process skills through self-designed inquiry-based research projects conducted within their communities. The program follows a systematic scope and sequence…

  13. A Supplementary Clear-Sky Snow and Ice Recognition Technique for CERES Level 2 Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radkevich, Alexander; Khlopenkov, Konstantin; Rutan, David; Kato, Seiji

    2013-01-01

    Identification of clear-sky snow and ice is an important step in the production of cryosphere radiation budget products, which are used in the derivation of long-term data series for climate research. In this paper, a new method of clear-sky snow/ice identification for Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is presented. The algorithm's goal is to enhance the identification of snow and ice within the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) data after application of the standard CERES scene identification scheme. The input of the algorithm uses spectral radiances from five MODIS bands and surface skin temperature available in the CERES Single Scanner Footprint (SSF) product. The algorithm produces a cryosphere rating from an aggregated test: a higher rating corresponds to a more certain identification of the clear-sky snow/ice-covered scene. Empirical analysis of regions of interest representing distinctive targets such as snow, ice, ice and water clouds, open waters, and snow-free land selected from a number of MODIS images shows that the cryosphere rating of snow/ice targets falls into 95% confidence intervals lying above the same confidence intervals of all other targets. This enables recognition of clear-sky cryosphere by using a single threshold applied to the rating, which makes this technique different from traditional branching techniques based on multiple thresholds. Limited tests show that the established threshold clearly separates the cryosphere rating values computed for the cryosphere from those computed for noncryosphere scenes, whereas individual tests applied consequently cannot reliably identify the cryosphere for complex scenes.

  14. Non-sky-averaged sensitivity curves for space-based gravitational-wave observatories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vallisneri, Michele; Galley, Chad R

    2012-01-01

    The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is used in gravitational-wave observations as the basic figure of merit for detection confidence and, together with the Fisher matrix, for the amount of physical information that can be extracted from a detected signal. SNRs are usually computed from a sensitivity curve, which describes the gravitational-wave amplitude needed by a monochromatic source of given frequency to achieve a threshold SNR. Although the term 'sensitivity' is used loosely to refer to the detector's noise spectral density, the two quantities are not the same: the sensitivity includes also the frequency- and orientation-dependent response of the detector to gravitational waves and takes into account the duration of observation. For interferometric space-based detectors similar to LISA, which are sensitive to long-lived signals and have constantly changing position and orientation, exact SNRs need to be computed on a source-by-source basis. For convenience, most authors prefer to work with sky-averaged sensitivities, accepting inaccurate SNRs for individual sources and giving up control over the statistical distribution of SNRs for source populations. In this paper, we describe a straightforward end-to-end recipe to compute the non-sky-averaged sensitivity of interferometric space-based detectors of any geometry. This recipe includes the effects of spacecraft motion and of seasonal variations in the partially subtracted confusion foreground from Galactic binaries, and it can be used to generate a sampling distribution of sensitivities for a given source population. In effect, we derive error bars for the sky-averaged sensitivity curve, which provide a stringent statistical interpretation for previously unqualified statements about sky-averaged SNRs. As a worked-out example, we consider isotropic and Galactic-disk populations of monochromatic sources, as observed with the 'classic LISA' configuration. We confirm that the (standard) inverse-rms average sensitivity

  15. Basic Blue Skies Research in the UK: Are we losing out?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, Belinda

    2008-02-29

    The term blue skies research implies a freedom to carry out flexible, curiosity-driven research that leads to outcomes not envisaged at the outset. This research often challenges accepted thinking and introduces new fields of study. Science policy in the UK has given growing support for short-term goal-oriented scientific research projects, with pressure being applied on researchers to demonstrate the future application of their work. These policies carry the risk of restricting freedom, curbing research direction, and stifling rather than stimulating the creativity needed for scientific discovery. This study tracks the tortuous routes that led to three major discoveries in cardiology. It then investigates the constraints in current research, and opportunities that may be lost with existing funding processes, by interviewing selected scientists and fund providers for their views on curiosity-driven research and the freedom needed to allow science to flourish. The transcripts were analysed using a grounded theory approach to gather recurrent themes from the interviews. The results from these interviews suggest that scientists often cannot predict the future applications of research. Constraints such as lack of scientific freedom, and a narrow focus on relevance and accountability were believed to stifle the discovery process. Although it was acknowledged that some research projects do need a clear and measurable framework, the interviewees saw a need for inquisitive, blue skies research to be managed in a different way. They provided examples of situations where money allocated to 'safe' funding was used for more innovative research. This sample of key UK scientists and grant providers acknowledge the importance of basic blue skies research. Yet the current evaluation process often requires that scientists predict their likely findings and estimate short-term impact, which does not permit freedom of research direction. There is a vital need for prominent scientists

  16. The taxonomic distribution of asteroids from multi-filter all-sky photometric surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMeo, F. E.; Carry, B.

    2013-09-01

    The distribution of asteroids across the main belt has been studied for decades to understand the current compositional distribution and what that tells us about the formation and evolution of our Solar System. All-sky surveys now provide orders of magnitude more data than targeted surveys. We present a method to bias-correct the asteroid population observed in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) according to size, distance, and albedo. We taxonomically classify this dataset consistent with the Bus and Binzel (Bus, S.J., Binzel, R.P. [2002]. Icarus 158, 146-177) and Bus-DeMeo et al. (DeMeo, F.E., Binzel, R.P., Slivan, S.M., Bus, S.J. [2009]. Icarus 202(July), 160-180) systems and present the resulting taxonomic distribution. The dataset includes asteroids as small as 5 km, a factor of three in diameter smaller than in previous work such as by Mothé-Diniz et al. (Mothé-Diniz, T., Carvano, J.M.Á., Lazzaro, D. [2003]. Icarus 162(March), 10-21). Because of the wide range of sizes in our sample, we present the distribution by number, surface area, volume, and mass whereas previous work was exclusively by number. While the distribution by number is a useful quantity and has been used for decades, these additional quantities provide new insights into the distribution of total material. We find evidence for D-types in the inner main belt where they are unexpected according to dynamical models of implantation of bodies from the outer Solar System into the inner Solar System during planetary migration (Levison, H.F., Bottke, W.F., Gounelle, M., Morbidelli, A., Nesvorný, D., Tsiganis, K. [2009]. Nature 460(July), 364-366). We find no evidence of S-types or other unexpected classes among Trojans and Hildas, albeit a bias favoring such a detection. Finally, we estimate for the first time the total amount of material of each class in the inner Solar System. The main belt’s most massive classes are C, B, P, V and S in decreasing order. Excluding the four most massive

  17. 78 FR 11169 - North Sky River Energy, LLC, et al; Notice of Effectiveness of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. EG13-6-000, et al] North Sky River Energy, LLC, et al; Notice of Effectiveness of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status Docket Nos. North Sky River Energy, LLC EG13-6-000 Black Bear SO, LLC EG13-7-000 Black Bear Development Holdings...

  18. VizieR Online Data Catalog: SKY2000 Master Catalog, Version 5 (Myers+ 2006)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, J. R.; Sande, C. B.; Miller, A. C.; Warren, W. H., Jr.; Tracewell, D. A.

    2015-02-01

    The SKYMAP Star Catalog System consists of a Master Catalog stellar database and a collection of utility software designed to create and maintain the database and to generate derivative mission star catalogs (run catalogs). It contains an extensive compilation of information on almost 300000 stars brighter than 8.0mag. The original SKYMAP Master Catalog was generated in the early 1970's. Incremental updates and corrections were made over the following years but the first complete revision of the source data occurred with Version 4.0. This revision also produced a unique, consolidated source of astrometric information which can be used by the astronomical community. The derived quantities were removed and wideband and photometric data in the R (red) and I (infrared) systems were added. Version 4 of the SKY2000 Master Catalog was completed in April 2002; it marks the global replacement of the variability identifier and variability data fields. More details can be found in the description file sky2kv4.pdf. The SKY2000 Version 5 Revision 4 Master Catalog differs from Revision 3 in that MK and HD spectral types have been added from the Catalogue of Stellar Spectral Classifications (B. A. Skiff of Lowell Observatory, 2005), which has been assigned source code 50 in this process. 9622 entries now have MK types from this source, while 3976 entries have HD types from this source. SKY2000 V5 R4 also differs globally from preceding MC versions in that the Galactic coordinate computations performed by UPDATE have been increased in accuracy, so that differences from the same quantities from other sources are now typically in the last decimal places carried in the MC. This version supersedes the previous versions 1(V/95), 2(V/102), 3(V/105) and 4(V/109). (6 data files).

  19. Close to the Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Today, a new ALMA outreach and educational book was publicly presented to city officials of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, as part of the celebrations of the anniversary of the Andean village. ESO PR Photo 50a/07 ESO PR Photo 50a/07 A Useful Tool for Schools Entitled "Close to the sky: Biological heritage in the ALMA area", and edited in English and Spanish by ESO in Chile, the book collects unique on-site observations of the flora and fauna of the ALMA region performed by experts commissioned to investigate it and to provide key initiatives to protect it. "I thank the ALMA project for providing us a book that will surely be a good support for the education of children and youngsters of San Pedro de Atacama. Thanks to this publication, we expect our rich flora and fauna to be better known. I invite teachers and students to take advantage of this educational resource, which will be available in our schools", commented Ms. Sandra Berna, the Mayor of San Pedro de Atacama, who was given the book by representatives of the ALMA global collaboration project. Copies of the book 'Close to the sky' will be donated to all schools in the area, as a contribution to the education of students and young people in northern Chile. "From the very beginning of the project, ALMA construction has had a firm commitment to environment and local culture, protecting unique flora and fauna species and preserving old estancias belonging to the Likan Antai culture," said Jacques Lassalle, who represented ALMA at the hand-over. "Animals like the llama, the fox or the condor do not only live in the region where ALMA is now being built, but they are also key elements of the ancient Andean constellations. In this sense they are part of the same sky that will be explored by ALMA in the near future." ESO PR Photo 50c/07 ESO PR Photo 50c/07 Presentation of the ALMA book The ALMA Project is a giant, international observatory currently under construction on the high-altitude Chajnantor site in Chile

  20. Ground-based search for the brightest transiting planets with the Multi-site All-Sky CAmeRA: MASCARA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas A. G.; Stuik, Remko; Navarro, Ramon; Bettonvil, Felix; Kenworthy, Matthew; de Mooij, Ernst; Otten, Gilles; ter Horst, Rik; le Poole, Rudolf

    2012-09-01

    The Multi-site All-sky CAmeRA MASCARA is an instrument concept consisting of several stations across the globe, with each station containing a battery of low-cost cameras to monitor the near-entire sky at each location. Once all stations have been installed, MASCARA will be able to provide a nearly 24-hr coverage of the complete dark sky, down to magnitude 8, at sub-minute cadence. Its purpose is to find the brightest transiting exoplanet systems, expected in the V=4-8 magnitude range - currently not probed by space- or ground-based surveys. The bright/nearby transiting planet systems, which MASCARA will discover, will be the key targets for detailed planet atmosphere observations. We present studies on the initial design of a MASCARA station, including the camera housing, domes, and computer equipment, and on the photometric stability of low-cost cameras showing that a precision of 0.3-1% per hour can be readily achieved. We plan to roll out the first MASCARA station before the end of 2013. A 5-station MASCARA can within two years discover up to a dozen of the brightest transiting planet systems in the sky.