Giovanni Pinzon – Site testing in Colombia: Identification of suitable places for the location of optical telescopes
“Site testing in Colombia: Identification of suitable places for the location of optical telescopes”
Observatorio Astronomico, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
With the aim to identify the set of the least-worst sites for astronomical observations in Colombia in the visible range, we used a novel algorithm for the computation of the number of clear nights which compares the brightness temperatures of five years of GOES images with reference temperature values obtained from long-term records of monthly temperatures at ground and at heights of 8, 9 and 10 kilometers. Our results confirm that the best site in Colombia is located in the “Sierra Nevada de Santamarta” at an altitude of 3300 meters above the sea level with 126 clear nights per year. Sites with similar quality were found in the “Serrania del Perijá” and over the north-eastern Andes with 107 clear nights per year. Low altitude sites as “La Tatacoa” (450 m) present less than 90 clear nights per year. Short and sporadic expeditions to six of those selected places were done between 2013 and 2015 in order to conduct sky quality measurements ‘in-situ’. It was found that among all visited places, in the “Cañón del rio Nevado” the Seeing was more stable with a rms=0.59” and thus a suitable place for the location of optical telescopes in Colombia.
Auditorium of Physics Faculty
Tue 13 June 2017