Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS

S. Archambault, A. Archer, W. Benbow, R. Bird, E. Bourbeau, A. Bouvier, M. Buchovecky, V. Bugaev, J. V. Cardenzana, M. Cerruti, L. Ciupik, M. P. Connolly, W. Cui, M. K. Daniel, M. Errando, A. Falcone, Q. Feng, J. P. Finley, H. Fleischhack, L. FortsonA. Furniss, G. H. Gillanders, S. Griffin, D. Hanna, O. Hervet, J. Holder, G. Hughes, T. B. Humensky, M. Hütten, C. A. Johnson, P. Kaaret, P. Kar, M. Kertzman, D. Kieda, M. Krause, M. J. Lang, T. T.Y. Lin, G. Maier, S. McArthur, P. Moriarty, R. Mukherjee, D. Nieto, S. O'Brien, R. A. Ong, A. N. Otte, N. Park, M. Pohl, A. Popkow, E. Pueschel, J. Quinn, K. Ragan, P. T. Reynolds, G. T. Richards, E. Roache, C. Rulten, I. Sadeh, G. H. Sembroski, K. Shahinyan, D. Staszak, I. Telezhinsky, S. Trepanier, S. P. Wakely, A. Weinstein, P. Wilcox, D. A. Williams, B. Zitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) are equipped with sensitive photomultiplier tube (PMT) cameras. Exposure to high levels of background illumination degrades the efficiency of and potentially destroys these photo-detectors over time, so IACTs cannot be operated in the same configuration in the presence of bright moonlight as under dark skies. Since September 2012, observations have been carried out with the VERITAS IACTs under bright moonlight (defined as about three times the night-sky-background (NSB) of a dark extragalactic field, typically occurring when Moon illumination > 35%) in two observing modes, firstly by reducing the voltage applied to the PMTs and, secondly, with the addition of ultra-violet (UV) bandpass filters to the cameras. This has allowed observations at up to about 30 times previous NSB levels (around 80% Moon illumination), resulting in 30% more observing time between the two modes over the course of a year. These additional observations have already allowed for the detection of a flare from the 1ES 1727 + 502 and for an observing program targeting a measurement of the cosmic-ray positron fraction. We provide details of these new observing modes and their performance relative to the standard VERITAS observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages10
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Volume91
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Fingerprint

gamma rays
night sky
illumination
telescopes
moon
cameras
photomultiplier tubes
bandpass filters
flares
sky
cosmic rays
positrons
detectors
electric potential
configurations

Keywords

  • IACT
  • Instrumentation
  • Moonlight
  • Observing methods
  • VERITAS

Cite this

Archambault, S., Archer, A., Benbow, W., Bird, R., Bourbeau, E., Bouvier, A., ... Zitzer, B. (2017). Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS. Astroparticle Physics, 91, 34-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.03.001

Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS. / Archambault, S.; Archer, A.; Benbow, W.; Bird, R.; Bourbeau, E.; Bouvier, A.; Buchovecky, M.; Bugaev, V.; Cardenzana, J. V.; Cerruti, M.; Ciupik, L.; Connolly, M. P.; Cui, W.; Daniel, M. K.; Errando, M.; Falcone, A.; Feng, Q.; Finley, J. P.; Fleischhack, H.; Fortson, L.; Furniss, A.; Gillanders, G. H.; Griffin, S.; Hanna, D.; Hervet, O.; Holder, J.; Hughes, G.; Humensky, T. B.; Hütten, M.; Johnson, C. A.; Kaaret, P.; Kar, P.; Kertzman, M.; Kieda, D.; Krause, M.; Lang, M. J.; Lin, T. T.Y.; Maier, G.; McArthur, S.; Moriarty, P.; Mukherjee, R.; Nieto, D.; O'Brien, S.; Ong, R. A.; Otte, A. N.; Park, N.; Pohl, M.; Popkow, A.; Pueschel, E.; Quinn, J.; Ragan, K.; Reynolds, P. T.; Richards, G. T.; Roache, E.; Rulten, C.; Sadeh, I.; Sembroski, G. H.; Shahinyan, K.; Staszak, D.; Telezhinsky, I.; Trepanier, S.; Wakely, S. P.; Weinstein, A.; Wilcox, P.; Williams, D. A.; Zitzer, B.

In: Astroparticle Physics, Vol. 91, 01.05.2017, p. 34-43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Archambault, S, Archer, A, Benbow, W, Bird, R, Bourbeau, E, Bouvier, A, Buchovecky, M, Bugaev, V, Cardenzana, JV, Cerruti, M, Ciupik, L, Connolly, MP, Cui, W, Daniel, MK, Errando, M, Falcone, A, Feng, Q, Finley, JP, Fleischhack, H, Fortson, L, Furniss, A, Gillanders, GH, Griffin, S, Hanna, D, Hervet, O, Holder, J, Hughes, G, Humensky, TB, Hütten, M, Johnson, CA, Kaaret, P, Kar, P, Kertzman, M, Kieda, D, Krause, M, Lang, MJ, Lin, TTY, Maier, G, McArthur, S, Moriarty, P, Mukherjee, R, Nieto, D, O'Brien, S, Ong, RA, Otte, AN, Park, N, Pohl, M, Popkow, A, Pueschel, E, Quinn, J, Ragan, K, Reynolds, PT, Richards, GT, Roache, E, Rulten, C, Sadeh, I, Sembroski, GH, Shahinyan, K, Staszak, D, Telezhinsky, I, Trepanier, S, Wakely, SP, Weinstein, A, Wilcox, P, Williams, DA & Zitzer, B 2017, 'Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS', Astroparticle Physics, vol. 91, pp. 34-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.03.001
Archambault S, Archer A, Benbow W, Bird R, Bourbeau E, Bouvier A et al. Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS. Astroparticle Physics. 2017 May 1;91:34-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.03.001
Archambault, S. ; Archer, A. ; Benbow, W. ; Bird, R. ; Bourbeau, E. ; Bouvier, A. ; Buchovecky, M. ; Bugaev, V. ; Cardenzana, J. V. ; Cerruti, M. ; Ciupik, L. ; Connolly, M. P. ; Cui, W. ; Daniel, M. K. ; Errando, M. ; Falcone, A. ; Feng, Q. ; Finley, J. P. ; Fleischhack, H. ; Fortson, L. ; Furniss, A. ; Gillanders, G. H. ; Griffin, S. ; Hanna, D. ; Hervet, O. ; Holder, J. ; Hughes, G. ; Humensky, T. B. ; Hütten, M. ; Johnson, C. A. ; Kaaret, P. ; Kar, P. ; Kertzman, M. ; Kieda, D. ; Krause, M. ; Lang, M. J. ; Lin, T. T.Y. ; Maier, G. ; McArthur, S. ; Moriarty, P. ; Mukherjee, R. ; Nieto, D. ; O'Brien, S. ; Ong, R. A. ; Otte, A. N. ; Park, N. ; Pohl, M. ; Popkow, A. ; Pueschel, E. ; Quinn, J. ; Ragan, K. ; Reynolds, P. T. ; Richards, G. T. ; Roache, E. ; Rulten, C. ; Sadeh, I. ; Sembroski, G. H. ; Shahinyan, K. ; Staszak, D. ; Telezhinsky, I. ; Trepanier, S. ; Wakely, S. P. ; Weinstein, A. ; Wilcox, P. ; Williams, D. A. ; Zitzer, B. / Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS. In: Astroparticle Physics. 2017 ; Vol. 91. pp. 34-43.
@article{bbd0bddfecf34b59a32a552dec632668,
title = "Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS",
abstract = "Imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) are equipped with sensitive photomultiplier tube (PMT) cameras. Exposure to high levels of background illumination degrades the efficiency of and potentially destroys these photo-detectors over time, so IACTs cannot be operated in the same configuration in the presence of bright moonlight as under dark skies. Since September 2012, observations have been carried out with the VERITAS IACTs under bright moonlight (defined as about three times the night-sky-background (NSB) of a dark extragalactic field, typically occurring when Moon illumination > 35{\%}) in two observing modes, firstly by reducing the voltage applied to the PMTs and, secondly, with the addition of ultra-violet (UV) bandpass filters to the cameras. This has allowed observations at up to about 30 times previous NSB levels (around 80{\%} Moon illumination), resulting in 30{\%} more observing time between the two modes over the course of a year. These additional observations have already allowed for the detection of a flare from the 1ES 1727 + 502 and for an observing program targeting a measurement of the cosmic-ray positron fraction. We provide details of these new observing modes and their performance relative to the standard VERITAS observations.",
keywords = "IACT, Instrumentation, Moonlight, Observing methods, VERITAS",
author = "S. Archambault and A. Archer and W. Benbow and R. Bird and E. Bourbeau and A. Bouvier and M. Buchovecky and V. Bugaev and Cardenzana, {J. V.} and M. Cerruti and L. Ciupik and Connolly, {M. P.} and W. Cui and Daniel, {M. K.} and M. Errando and A. Falcone and Q. Feng and Finley, {J. P.} and H. Fleischhack and L. Fortson and A. Furniss and Gillanders, {G. H.} and S. Griffin and D. Hanna and O. Hervet and J. Holder and G. Hughes and Humensky, {T. B.} and M. H{\"u}tten and Johnson, {C. A.} and P. Kaaret and P. Kar and M. Kertzman and D. Kieda and M. Krause and Lang, {M. J.} and Lin, {T. T.Y.} and G. Maier and S. McArthur and P. Moriarty and R. Mukherjee and D. Nieto and S. O'Brien and Ong, {R. A.} and Otte, {A. N.} and N. Park and M. Pohl and A. Popkow and E. Pueschel and J. Quinn and K. Ragan and Reynolds, {P. T.} and Richards, {G. T.} and E. Roache and C. Rulten and I. Sadeh and Sembroski, {G. H.} and K. Shahinyan and D. Staszak and I. Telezhinsky and S. Trepanier and Wakely, {S. P.} and A. Weinstein and P. Wilcox and Williams, {D. A.} and B. Zitzer",
year = "2017",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.03.001",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "91",
pages = "34--43",
journal = "Astroparticle Physics",
issn = "0927-6505",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Gamma-ray observations under bright moonlight with VERITAS

AU - Archambault, S.

AU - Archer, A.

AU - Benbow, W.

AU - Bird, R.

AU - Bourbeau, E.

AU - Bouvier, A.

AU - Buchovecky, M.

AU - Bugaev, V.

AU - Cardenzana, J. V.

AU - Cerruti, M.

AU - Ciupik, L.

AU - Connolly, M. P.

AU - Cui, W.

AU - Daniel, M. K.

AU - Errando, M.

AU - Falcone, A.

AU - Feng, Q.

AU - Finley, J. P.

AU - Fleischhack, H.

AU - Fortson, L.

AU - Furniss, A.

AU - Gillanders, G. H.

AU - Griffin, S.

AU - Hanna, D.

AU - Hervet, O.

AU - Holder, J.

AU - Hughes, G.

AU - Humensky, T. B.

AU - Hütten, M.

AU - Johnson, C. A.

AU - Kaaret, P.

AU - Kar, P.

AU - Kertzman, M.

AU - Kieda, D.

AU - Krause, M.

AU - Lang, M. J.

AU - Lin, T. T.Y.

AU - Maier, G.

AU - McArthur, S.

AU - Moriarty, P.

AU - Mukherjee, R.

AU - Nieto, D.

AU - O'Brien, S.

AU - Ong, R. A.

AU - Otte, A. N.

AU - Park, N.

AU - Pohl, M.

AU - Popkow, A.

AU - Pueschel, E.

AU - Quinn, J.

AU - Ragan, K.

AU - Reynolds, P. T.

AU - Richards, G. T.

AU - Roache, E.

AU - Rulten, C.

AU - Sadeh, I.

AU - Sembroski, G. H.

AU - Shahinyan, K.

AU - Staszak, D.

AU - Telezhinsky, I.

AU - Trepanier, S.

AU - Wakely, S. P.

AU - Weinstein, A.

AU - Wilcox, P.

AU - Williams, D. A.

AU - Zitzer, B.

PY - 2017/5/1

Y1 - 2017/5/1

N2 - Imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) are equipped with sensitive photomultiplier tube (PMT) cameras. Exposure to high levels of background illumination degrades the efficiency of and potentially destroys these photo-detectors over time, so IACTs cannot be operated in the same configuration in the presence of bright moonlight as under dark skies. Since September 2012, observations have been carried out with the VERITAS IACTs under bright moonlight (defined as about three times the night-sky-background (NSB) of a dark extragalactic field, typically occurring when Moon illumination > 35%) in two observing modes, firstly by reducing the voltage applied to the PMTs and, secondly, with the addition of ultra-violet (UV) bandpass filters to the cameras. This has allowed observations at up to about 30 times previous NSB levels (around 80% Moon illumination), resulting in 30% more observing time between the two modes over the course of a year. These additional observations have already allowed for the detection of a flare from the 1ES 1727 + 502 and for an observing program targeting a measurement of the cosmic-ray positron fraction. We provide details of these new observing modes and their performance relative to the standard VERITAS observations.

AB - Imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) are equipped with sensitive photomultiplier tube (PMT) cameras. Exposure to high levels of background illumination degrades the efficiency of and potentially destroys these photo-detectors over time, so IACTs cannot be operated in the same configuration in the presence of bright moonlight as under dark skies. Since September 2012, observations have been carried out with the VERITAS IACTs under bright moonlight (defined as about three times the night-sky-background (NSB) of a dark extragalactic field, typically occurring when Moon illumination > 35%) in two observing modes, firstly by reducing the voltage applied to the PMTs and, secondly, with the addition of ultra-violet (UV) bandpass filters to the cameras. This has allowed observations at up to about 30 times previous NSB levels (around 80% Moon illumination), resulting in 30% more observing time between the two modes over the course of a year. These additional observations have already allowed for the detection of a flare from the 1ES 1727 + 502 and for an observing program targeting a measurement of the cosmic-ray positron fraction. We provide details of these new observing modes and their performance relative to the standard VERITAS observations.

KW - IACT

KW - Instrumentation

KW - Moonlight

KW - Observing methods

KW - VERITAS

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85015727475&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85015727475&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.03.001

DO - 10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.03.001

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85015727475

VL - 91

SP - 34

EP - 43

JO - Astroparticle Physics

JF - Astroparticle Physics

SN - 0927-6505

ER -