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Proceedings Paper

Estimating the effects of nitrate mining activities on the astronomical site quality of the Cerro Paranal Observatory
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Paper Abstract

The European Southern Observatory is planning to construct its Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal, a site with superb astronomical observing conditions located in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile some 100 km south of the town of Antofagasta and 16 km from the Pacific Ocean. This region of Chile is know for its rich mineral resources. One of these, Nitrates, are mined by surface, strip mining causing extensive area air pollution. To estimate the effects of a Nitrate mine which may be started 25 km SSE from Cerro Paranal a model for this pollution, based on estimates of aerosols resulting from similar mines north of Antofagasta, was developed. These estimates are based on measurements of the solar aureole brightness. The expected deteriorating effects on atmospheric extinction, sky thermal emissivity and night-time sky brightness appear acceptable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1994
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 2199, Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes V, (1 June 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176253
Show Author Affiliations
Jacques Maurice Beckers, National Solar Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2199:
Advanced Technology Optical Telescopes V
Larry M. Stepp, Editor(s)

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