Is the near-infrared sky background really lower in the Arctic?

Dr. Suresh Sivanandam, Dunlap Fellow

Many years ago, people published a result claiming that the NIR sky background was factors of 2-3 lower at the South Pole when compared to a mid-latitude astronomical site. This meant that something physically different was going on in the upper atmosphere above the Pole. Sivanandam and team members at the Dunlap sought to answer the question if this is true in the Arctic as well. They built a photometer for this purpose and, this year, measured the NIR sky brightness throughout the Arctic night. While in principle the construction and operation of a photometer is relatively simple, Sivanandam will talk about the challenges the team faced. He will also talk about the preliminary results from the Arctic campaign, and what they might mean.