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

Coughlin, Michael
Stubbs, Christopher; Claver, Chuck
DOI 10.1007/S10686-016-9494-1
Publication Date: 
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Journal Articles
Experimental Astronomy
41 issue 3
Page #: 
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.
Reviewed Under: 
LSST Project Publication Policy
Bibtex reference: 
@ARTICLE{2016ExA....41..393C, author = {{Coughlin}, M. and {Stubbs}, C. and {Claver}, C.}, title = "{A daytime measurement of the lunar contribution to the night sky brightness in LSST's ugrizy bands-initial results}", journal = {Experimental Astronomy}, archivePrefix = "arXiv", eprint = {1510.07574}, primaryClass = "astro-ph.IM", keywords = {Sky brightness, LSST}, year = 2016, month = jun, volume = 41, pages = {393-408}, doi = {10.1007/s10686-016-9494-1}, adsurl = {http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016ExA....41..393C}, adsnote = {Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System} }

Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

Contact   |   We are Hiring   |   Business with Rubin Observatory

Admin Login

Back to Top