[SQM] YNT: ecological light pollution paper, and worldwide SQM database

Zeki Aslan z.aslan at iku.edu.tr
Fri Mar 4 03:47:16 UTC 2011


Dear Chris,

 I am interested in participating in the  collaboration you have proposed.
I am a staff member of Istanbul Kultur University.  I lead a project entitled "Measurement of Light Pollution in Selected Regions in Turkey", which started in June 2010. The main aim of the work is to measure the sky brightness on moonless celar nights in urban, suburban, and rural areas, and national parks, and look for dark areas for astronomical sky parties. 
We have 17 SQM-LUs in use in several regions such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Antalya, Kayseri, Aksaray, Samsun, Isparta, Malatya, Mersin (see the map of Turkey attached).  Our collaborators are colleagues from local universities and teachers of local schools. I will present the first results in a national meeting in April.

Although,  a SQM-LU can not be used unattanded in the way the SQM-LE can, we can still use our SQM-LUs in a collaboration such as yours. For example, we can measure the sky glow under clear sky and under clouds in a given place, Istanbul and Ankara for instance,  at selected times in a given night and share the data with you. Any suggestions are welcom.

Kind regards
Zeki
------------
Dr. Zeki Aslan
Istanbul Kultur University
Phsics Dept
z.aslan at iku.edu.tr

________________________________________
Kimden: sqm-bounces at unihedron.com [sqm-bounces at unihedron.com], Christopher Kyba [christopher.kyba at wew.fu-berlin.de] Adına
Tarih: 03 Mart 2011 Perşembe 12:39
Kime: sqm at unihedron.com
Konu: [SQM] ecological light pollution paper, and worldwide SQM database

Hello all,

I wanted to make you aware of a paper our group just published, "Cloud
Coverage Acts as an
Amplifier for Ecological Light Pollution in Urban Ecosystems."  It was
published in the online open access journal PLoS ONE, and is available
here: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017307

We find that overcast nights in Berlin are 10.1 times brighter than
clear nights, and the bottom line of the paper is that if you are
interested in the biological, ecosystem, or human health consequences
of light pollution, then the sky brightness on overcast nights is
actually more important than that for clear nights.  We end the paper
with a call for the establishment of an international database of
continuous SQM-LE readings.

The fundamental difference between this suggested database and the
impressively scoped already existing datasets (e.g. the unihedron
database, or the GLOBE at Night program) is switching from single
measurements to continuous readings.  While we will certainly not be
able to cover the geographic area of the individual based
measurements, we will be better able to study the progress of the
night, impact of weather, and changes with the seasons.

We have already developed a prototype database system using SQL
(currently with data from 5 SQMs at 4 locations), and are very eager
to expand it.  As a first step, we are collecting emails of those
interested in collaborating.  Next, we would like to get the system
(and QC checks, standardized scripts, integration with SQMReader,
etc.) up and running, with the data at first being shared only among
collaborators (and with an understanding that no one would prematurely
prepare a publication based on someone else's data).  Once we are
satisfied with the system and the quality controls, we would try to
publish (at least) two papers synchronously, and at that point we
would make
the dataset fully open to the general public.

The first paper would describe the system, QC checks, locations, how
we incorporate weather reports, etc, as well as how to access it.  The
second paper would be a greatly expanded version of the paper our
group recently published, studying how the cloud amplification factor
varies worldwide, and possibly considering other topics.

After waiting a few weeks to collect emails and find out what datasets
already exist, we would like to organize a conference call.  We would
discuss how to structure the collaboration, what tasks exist (and who
might be interested in solving them), what the publication goals would
be, and how data sharing and authorship would operate.

If you are interested in participating in such a collaboration, please
send an email at sqm at wew.fu-berlin.de.  It would be great if you could
include in your email:

1) How long you have been operating your SQM-LE,
2) What your geographic location is (either city, or latitude/longitude)
3) Whether your site is pristine, rural, suburban, or urban
4) Whether you are interested in contributing more than data, and what
you might like to work on (e.g. developing QC checks, standardizing
old datasets, developing web tools, etc.)


For more information about our project you can see our webpages:

http://www.verlustdernacht.de/
http://www.milieu.fu-berlin.de/en/index.html


You may also be interested in seeing some of our aerial photographs of
Berlin at night:

http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~kyba/photos.html


Thanks, and looking forward to talking with some of you soon!

Chris

ps.  I have been following the discussion about mag/sq arcsec.  I
appreciate Jan's point very well, it's always a pain to explain it to
non-astronomers.  But luminance measurements are just as opaque to the
general public, and any time you ever want to display a result you're
going to display it on a logarithmic scale anyway.  Perhaps as a
community we could come up with a new logarithmic scale designed
explicitly for light pollution, that increased with increasing sky
brightness, and had manageable values (1-10?) in most cases (e.g. 1 as
night in the Sahara and 10 as inside of a well lit shopping mall?).
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