Measuring the color and brightness of artificial sky glow from cities using an all-sky imaging system calibrated with astronomical methods in the Johnson-Cousins B and V photometric systems
Artificial light at night, when observed at some distance from a city, results in a dome of sky glow, brightest at the horizon. The spectral power distribution of electric light utilized will determine its color of the light dome and the amount of light will determine its brightness. Recent outdoor lighting technologies have included blue-rich light emitting diode (LED) sources that may increase the relative amount of blue to green light in sky glow compared to typical high pressure sodium (HPS) sources with warmer spectra. Measuring and monitoring this effect is important to the preservation of night sky visual quality as seen from undeveloped areas outside the city, such as parks or other protected areas, since the dark-adapted human eye is more sensitive to blue and green. We present a method using a wide field CCD camera which images the entire sky in both Johnson V and B photometric bands. Standard stars within the images are used for calibration. The resulting all-sky brightness maps, and a derived B-V color index map, provide a means to assess and track the impact of specific outdoor lighting practices. We also present example data from several cities, including Las Vegas, Nevada, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #229
- Pub Date:
- January 2017