Abstract We present measurements of the optical broadband atmospheric extinction coefficients and the night sky brightness at the Xuyi Observation Station of Purple Mountain Observatory. The measurements are based on CCD imaging data taken in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s g, r and i bands with the Xuyi 1.04/1.20 m Schmidt Telescope for the Xuyi Schmidt Telescope Photometric Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (XSTPS-GAC), the photometric part of the Digital Sky Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (DSS-GAC). The data were collected during more than 130 winter nights from 2009 to 2011. We find that the atmospheric extinction coefficients for the g, r and i bands are 0.70, 0.55 and 0.38 mag/airmass, respectively, based on observations taken on several photometric nights. The night sky brightness determined from images with good quality has median values of 21.7, 20.8 and 20.0 mag arcsec−2 and reaches 22.1, 21.2 and 20.4 mag arcsec−2 under the best observing conditions for the g, r and i bands, respectively. The relatively large extinction coefficients compared with other good astronomical observing sites are mainly due to the relatively low elevation (i.e. 180 m) and high humidity at the station.
Keywords techniques: astronomical observing sites — atmospheric extinction co- efficients — night sky brightness
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