UBVRI twilight sky brightness at ESO-Paranal

F. Patat, O. S. Ugolnikov, O. V. Postylyakov
2006 Astronomy and Astrophysics  
Twilight studies have proved to be important tools to analyze the atmospheric structure with interesting consequences on the characterization of astronomical sites. Active discussions on this topic have been recently restarted in connection with the evaluation of Dome C, Antarctica as a potential astronomical site and several site-testing experiments, including twilight brightness measurements, are being prepared. The present work provides for the first time absolute photometric measurements of
more » ... twilight sky brightness for ESO-Paranal (Chile), which are meant both as a contribution to the site monitoring and as reference values in the analysis of other sites, including Dome C. The UBVRI twilight sky brightness was estimated on more than 2000 FORS1 archival images, which include both flats and standard stars observations taken in twilight, covering a Sun zenith distance range 94-112 deg. The comparison with a low altitude site shows that Paranal V twilight sky brightness is about 30% lower, implying that some fraction of multiple scattering has to take place at an altitude of a few km above the sea level.
doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20064992 fatcat:pdppf6buebanjk6lrqswatbatq