Vol 20, No 6: Mini-Volume for LOT

Site testing campaign for the Large Optical Telescope at the Ali site

Li-Yong Liu, Yong-Qiang Yao, Jia Yin, Hong-Shuai Wang, Jun-Rong Li, Yun-He Zhou, Xian-Long You, Peng Tang, Xi-Yue Zhao, De-Qiang Ma, Jian Dong


Abstract The Large Optical/infrared Telescope (LOT) is a ground-based 12 m diameter telescope which is proposed to be built in western China. The site selection for LOT in China began in 2016, and Ali was listed as one of the three candidate sites. Remote studies and local surveys have been carried out for more than 15 years in western China, and the results show that Ali is a promising site with comprehensive quality in terms of atmospheric and supporting conditions. An overview of the site testing campaign at the Ali site from 2016 to 2019 is presented. After the two years of data collection, the overall median seeing value is found to be 1.17 arcsec, the observable nights are 81.71% and the good observable nights are 71.76%. The weather conditions as follows, the median night temperature value is −5.18°C, the median night relative humidity value is 41.25%, the median night atmospheric pressure value is 540.92 hPa, the median night wind speed value is 7.41 m s−1 and the mainly wind direction is southwestern (SW). The median night sky background value is 22.07 magV. We also discuss the wind speed at different locations on-site, the possibility of light pollution and the effect of wind speed on differential image motion monitor (DIMM) seeing measurements.


Keywords large optical telescope — site testing — Ali site — cloudiness — seeing

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