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Astron. Astrophys. 331, 463-470 (1998)

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Observations of the diffuse near-IR sky emission
with a balloon-borne infrared telescope (TRIP)

small.htm N. Mandolesi * 1, M.R. Attolini 1, S. Cortiglioni 1, G. Morigi 1, L. Valenziano 1, G. Ventura 1, A. Boscaleri 2, A. Franceschini 3, L. Danese 4 and R.B. Partridge 5

1 Istituto T.E.S.R.E., CNR, I-40126 Bologna, Italy
2 I.R.O.E., CNR, Firenze, Italy
3 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, Italy
4 Sissa, Trieste, Italy
5 Haverford College, Haverford, USA

Received 26 June 1997 / Accepted 3 November 1997


The diffuse sky emission in 7 spectral bands between 2 and 4.6 microns has been observed with a cooled balloon-borne IR telescope (TRIP). The results, reported here, confirm state-of-the-art atmospheric models for the continuum emission at [FORMULA] µm and for the OH component at [FORMULA] µm. On the other hand, excess flux in the 2.3 to 2.5 µm atmospheric window is found at a level of [FORMULA]. Given its modulation with the zenith angle, this signal can be attributed to residual atmospheric emission, possibly due to narrow saturated absorption lines. The sky brightness detected by TRIP in the atmospheric window is 1.5 magnitude fainter at balloon altitudes than the typical sky brightness at South Pole. However, in optimal atmospheric conditions, the sky brightness at South Pole can be only half a magnitude brighter.

Key words: atmospheric effects – diffuse radiation – methods: observational

* CNR-Tesre, via P. Gobetti 101, I-40126 Bologna, Italy

Send offprint requests to: N. Mandolesi

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: February 16, 1998