Measurements of Night Sky Brightness in the Veneto Region of Italy: Sky Quality Meter Network Results and Differential Photometry by Digital Single Lens Reflex

J Imaging. 2019 May 24;5(5):56. doi: 10.3390/jimaging5050056.


In this paper, we present the implementation of a monitoring network for artificial light at night (ALAN), based on Sky Quality Meter devices (SQM) installed in seven locations of the Veneto region. The system is coordinated by the Regional Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA-Veneto) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Padova, in collaboration with a local dark-sky association, Venetostellato. A new centralized database containing zenith night sky brightness (NSB) data was implemented to collect data from all SQM stations of the regional territory, not only in real time (since 2017), but in some stations since 2011. We now have a dataset to determine how light pollution is affecting astronomical observatories. A WEB portal was created to offer different downloads from these NSB data. We present the results of some elaborations for the 2018 dataset (statistics, histograms, annual and cumulative plots) for seven monitoring sites. For Ekar and Pennar sites, we also present the NSB monthly trend from 2014 until the time of the study. We purchased a reflex camera with a fish eye lens, appropriately calibrated with the software (SW) Sky Quality Camera, which allowed us to study ALAN using differential photometry. Here, we present our first results obtained by studying the night evolution of light pollution in the urban location of Padova.

Keywords: Differential Photometry; Light Pollution; Night Sky Brightness; SMQ Network.