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Proceedings Paper

Measurements of airglow on Maunakea at Gemini Observatory
Author(s): Katherine C. Roth; Adam Smith; Andrew Stephens; Olesja Smirnova
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Paper Abstract

Gemini Observatory on Maunakea has been collecting optical and infrared science data for almost 15 years. We have begun a program to analyze imaging data from two of the original facility instruments, GMOS and NIRI, in order to measure sky brightness levels in multiple infrared and optical broad-band filters. The present work includes data from mid-2016 back through late-2008. We present measured background levels as a function of several operational quantities (e.g. moon phase, hours from twilight, season). We find that airglow is a significant contributor to background levels in several filters. Gemini is primarily a queue scheduled telescope, with observations being optimally executed in order to provide the most efficient use of telescope time. We find that while most parameters are well-understood, the atmospheric airglow remains challenging to predict. This makes it difficult to schedule observations which require dark skies in these filters, and we suggest improvements to ensure data quality.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2016
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 9910, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI, 99101B (15 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233891
Show Author Affiliations
Katherine C. Roth, Gemini Observatory (United States)
Adam Smith, Gemini Observatory (United States)
Andrew Stephens, Gemini Observatory (United States)
Olesja Smirnova, Gemini Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9910:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI
Alison B. Peck; Robert L. Seaman; Chris R. Benn, Editor(s)

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