AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 76. Astronomers and Their Tools
Poster, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[76.06] High-Resolution 3800-9500 A Light Pollution Spectra Measured from Mt. Hamilton over San Jose, CA

T. G. Slanger, P. C. Cosby, D. L. Huestis (SRI), D. E. Osterbrock, R. P. S. Stone, A. A. Misch (UCO/Lick/UCSC)

We report high-resolution (R ~ 40,000) spectra taken from Mt. Hamilton over the city of San Jose with the Hamilton Echelle Spectrometer on the Shane 3-m telescope. Apart from the strong atomic oxygen and molecular OH nightglow emissions, we find a rich array of atomic lines originating from city lighting. As expected, the strongest lines are from sodium and mercury, but we have identified more than 150 lines from Ne, Ar, Sc, Sc+, Th, Th+, K, Li, and Al. Fully half the lines are from scandium, an additive to certain commercial metal halide lamps [1]. These lamps operate at several atmospheres pressure. Correspondingly, the neutral scandium lines are broadened and generally red-shifted, although these effects are not observed for the Sc+ lines. Most of the scandium emission is associated with emitting levels below 4.5 eV. Additional telescope pointing directions were investigated, at the zenith and away from San Jose. We report qualitative intensities for all lines.

[1] J. F. Waymouth, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 19, 1003-1012 (1991).

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: tom.slanger@sri.com

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