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SP02: Detailed characterisation of natural and artifical night-sky brightness at rural and remote sites


Subproject 02 was a collaborative effort between the Leibniz Institut of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) and complemented studies performed in subproject 01.

Observations of celestial targets like stars and galaxies are influenced and hampered by light, be it a natural source (moon, zodiacal light) or artificial lightning. Recognizing those difficulties about a century ago, professional astronomy has begun to put their facilities at very remote sites. Our knowledge about the artificial light an its influence on celestial observations therefore was not developed further.

By erecting a small network of lightmeters in the city of Berlin at its suburbs/outskirts a night-sky maps putting was created with spezial emphasis on the long-term variation of the night-sky brightness in and around a booming city. The data served as basis to study the influence on astronomical observing conditions and to achieve public awareness among pupils and scholars.

Project Scientist is Dr. Robert Schwarz
Project leaders were PD Dr. Axel Schwope (AIP) and PD Dr. Franz Hölker (IGB)