Sky background Model - ESO in-kind projects

As a part of the admission payment, software modules are developed for the planning and analysis of observational data which are taken with ESO telescopes. Since oberving time at large telescopes is very expensive, they must be carried out as efficiently as possible. An essential aspect of this, is the calculation of required time at the telescope for a given observational program. The so-called sky background influences the light from the astronomical object, causing it to be suppressd and distorted. This sky background has many components: e.g. the moonlight, zodiacal light, thermal radiation of the telescope itself, molecular absorptions and emissions, ....

The Earth's atmosphere works also like a filter by which the light of the astronomical objects is changed.

The software development project of the University of Innsbruck includes

  • Modeling of the iemissions in the low atmosphere
  • Semi-empirical model of the Auora
  • Absorptions of the night sky - "telluric feature corrections" -
  • Light from the moon
  • Wavelength corrections of the Airglow for the purpose of optimal post processing
  • etc.

A more extensive description can be found on .



The numerical models are designed for high-altitude arid regions to best fit to the needs of the observatories. An adoption for regions with high atmospheric humidity as they prevail in Central Europe is not forsen at the moment.

barden Jones Kausch Kimeswenger Noll Szyszka
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