Vol 24, No 3

An Analysis of the Fragmentation of Observing Time At the Muztagh-Ata Site

Wen-Bo Gu, Jing Xu, Guo-Jie Feng, Xuan Zhang, Le-Tian Wang, Xin-Liang Wang, Ali Esamdin and Li-Xian Shen


Cloud cover plays a pivotal role in assessing observational conditions for astronomical site-testing. Except for the fraction of observing time, its fragmentation also wields a significant influence on the quality of nighttime sky clarity. In this article, we introduce the function , designed to comprehensively capture both the fraction of available observing time and its continuity. Leveraging in situ measurement data gathered at the Muztagh-Ata site between 2017 and 2021, we showcase the effectiveness of our approach. The statistical result illustrates that the Muztagh-Ata site affords approximately 122 nights that were absolutely clear and 205 very good nights annually, corresponding to Γ ≥ 0.9 and Γ ≥ 0.36 respectively.


Key words: site testing – atmospheric effects – methods: statistical

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