Iranian national observatory project: seeing measurements at mount Gargash
The site selection for the Iranian National Observatory (INO) was concluded in 2007. As a result of a 7-year campaign, Mount Gargash was identified to host the INO observing facilities. To measure the atmospheric seeing, an Automated Differential Image Motion Monitoring (automatic DIMM) system has been installed few 100 meters to the mainpeak. Together with a weather station, this automatic DIMM system enabled us to continuously gather data on the main atmospheric features of the site namely seeing, temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. In this study, we present the analysis of three years of automatic DIMM seeing data of this INO site. The measurements indicate that the site benefits from a low atmospheric seeing with median 0.7 arcsec and 1st and 3rd quartile being equal to 0.4 and 0.8 arcsec, respectively. We study the effect of the target position on the seeing measurements in order to optimize the future target selection criteria. Combining the simultaneous seeing and weather data, we investigate the long-term pattern of the variations in seeing and the meteorological parameters. This helps us understand the nature of variations and how they are influenced by general meteorological conditions. These analyses would improve observation strategies at this site in long and short-term.
KeywordsINO340 DIMM Site characterization Site testing Seeing Meteorological observations
This research was supported by Iranian National Observatory (INO) and School Of Astronomy (SoA) at the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM). We thank the INO and SoA staff for providing support, insight and expertise that greatly assisted this research. We especially thank Mr. Alireza Behnam, the INO site manager, for the assistance and support he provided during this research.
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