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A Simple, Portable Apparatus to Measure Night Sky Brightness at Various Zenith Angles

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Jennifer Birriel
James Kevin Adkins

Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY 43051; j.birriel@morehead-st.edu

Received May 4, 2010; revised May 17, 2010; accepted July 17, 2010

Abstract

We describe a simple apparatus for making measurements of night sky brightness as a function of zenith and azimuth using “off-the-shelf” equipment: a Unihedron Sky Quality Meter with Lens, a protractor with plumb-line, a tripod, and a hand-held compass. Compared to a photoelectric or CCD photometric system, this apparatus is simple to set up and use and does not require complex data reduction procedures. Thus, this apparatus makes measurements of night sky brightness as a function of zenith and azimuthal angles quite amenable to students.

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