Atmospheric scintillation in astronomical photometry

  title={Atmospheric scintillation in astronomical photometry},
  author={James Osborn and Dora Fohring and Vik S. Dhillon and R. W. Wilson},
  journal={Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
Scintillation noise due to the Earth's turbulent atmosphere can be a dominant noise source in high-precision astronomical photometry when observing bright targets from the ground. Here we describe the phenomenon of scintillation from its physical origins to its effect on photometry. We show that Young's scintillation-noise approximation used by many astronomers tends to underestimate the median scintillation noise at several major observatories around the world. We show that using median… 
Measurement of Atmospheric Scintillation during a Period of Saharan Dust (Calima) at Observatorio del Teide, Iz̃ana, Tenerife, and the Impact on Photometric Exposure Times
We present scintillation noise profiles captured at the Observatorio del Teide, Izaña, Tenerife, over a one-week period in 2017 September. Contemporaneous data from the Birmingham Solar Oscillations
Turbulence velocity profiling for high sensitivity and vertical-resolution atmospheric characterization with Stereo-SCIDAR
As telescopes become larger, into the era of ∼40 m Extremely Large Telescopes, the high-resolution vertical profile of the optical turbulence strength is critical for the validation, optimization and
Multiband Transit Follow-up Observations of Five Hot Jupiters with Critical Noise Treatments: Improved Physical Properties
The most challenging limitation in transit photometry arises from the noises in the photometric signal. In particular, the ground-based telescopes are heavily affected by the noise due to
Toward Space-like Photometric Precision from the Ground with Beam-shaping Diffusers
We demonstrate a path to hitherto unachievable differential photometric precisions from the ground, both in the optical and near-infrared (NIR), using custom-fabricated beam-shaping diffusers
Optical turbulence profiling with stereo-SCIDAR for VLT and ELT.
Knowledge of the Earth’s atmospheric optical turbulence is critical for astronomical instrumentation. Not only does it enable performance verification and optimisation of existing systems but it is
Optimization of Exposure Time Division for Multi-object Photometry
Optical observations of wide fields of view entail the problem of selecting the best exposure time. As many objects are usually observed simultaneously, the quality of photometry of the brightest
Photometry and performance of SPECULOOS-South
SPECULOOS-South, an observatory composed of four independent 1m robotic telescopes, located at ESO Paranal, Chile, started scientific operation in January 2019. This Southern Hemisphere facility
SHIMM : a low-cost portable seeing monitor for astronomical observing sites
The Shack-Hartmann Image Motion Monitor (SHIMM) employs a low order Shack- Hartman (SH) lenslet array instead of the two hole aperture mask utilised by the DIMM, a low-cost, portable instrument, comprised of off-the-shelf components, making it easily duplicated and therefore ideal for comparisons of atmospheric conditions at large observing sites.
Review of Image Quality Measures for Solar Imaging
This paper evaluates 36 methods dedicated to the assessment of image quality and identifies three methods for consideration by observers: Helmli and Scherer’s mean, the median filter gradient similarity, and the discrete cosine transform energy ratio.
Optimization of exposure time division for wide field observations
The optical observations of wide fields of view encounter the problem of selection of best exposure time. As there are usually plenty of objects observed simultaneously, the quality of photometry of


Comparison of the scintillation noise above different observatories measured with MASS instruments
Aims. Scintillation noise is a major limitation of ground-based photometric precision. Methods. An extensive dataset of stellar scintillation collected at 11 astronomical sites world-wide with
Scintillation correction for astronomical photometry on large and extremely large telescopes with tomographic atmospheric reconstruction
We describe a new concept to correct for scintillation noise on high-precision photometry in large and extremely large telescopes using telemetry data from adaptive optics (AO) systems. Most
Stellar scintillation on large and extremely large telescopes
The accuracy of ground-based astronomical photometry is limited by two factors: photon statistics and stellar scintillation arising when starlight passes through the Earth's atmosphere. This paper
How achromatic is the stellar scintillation on large telescopes
The atmospheric scintillation of stars is the main reason why the ground-based photometry of astronomical objects has limited accuracy. This becomes particularly noticeable for a variability study
Conjugate-plane photometry: reducing scintillation in ground-based photometry
High-precision fast photometry from ground-based observatories is a challenge due to intensity fluctuations (scintillation) produced by the Earth's atmosphere. Here we describe a method to reduce the
Atmospheric Intensity Scintillation of Stars. III. Effects for Different Telescope Apertures
Stellar intensity scintillation in the optical was extensively studied at the astronomical observatory on La Palma (Canary Islands). Atmospheric turbulence causes “flying shadows” on the ground, and
Atmospheric intensity scintillation of stars on milli- and microsecond time scales was extensively measured at the astronomical observatory on La Palma (Canary Island). Scintillation statistics and
Angular correlation of the stellar scintillation for large telescopes
The stellar scintillation is one of the fundamental limitation to the precision of groundbased photometry. The paper examines the problem of correlation of the scintillation of two close stars at the
Photometric Error Analysis. VIII. the Temporal Power Spectrum of Scintillation.
The theory is generalized to encompass planetary scintillation and the effects of diffraction, atmospheric dispersion, and seeing and shows that the telescopic scintillation is produced throughout the atmosphere rather than primarily in a thin layer.
Accurate seeing measurements with MASS and DIMM
Astronomical seeing is quantified by a single parameter, the turbulence integral, in the framework of the Kolmogorov turbulence model. This parameter can be routinely measured by a Differential Image