An estimate of the temporal fraction of cloud cover at San Pedro Mártir Observatory

Authors

  • E. Carrasco,

    Corresponding author
    1. Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Luis Enrique Erro 1, Tonantzintla, Puebla 72840, Mexico
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  • A. Carramiñana,

    1. Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Luis Enrique Erro 1, Tonantzintla, Puebla 72840, Mexico
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  • L. J. Sánchez,

    1. Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-264, Cd. Universitaria 04510, México D.F., Mexico
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  • R. Avila,

    1. Centro de Física Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, A.P. 1-1010, Santiago de Querétaro, Qro. 76000, Mexico
    2. Centro de Radioastronomíõa y Astrofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 3-72, Morelia, Michoacán 58089, Mexico
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  • I. Cruz-González

    1. Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-264, Cd. Universitaria 04510, México D.F., Mexico
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E-mail: bec@inaoep.mx

ABSTRACT

San Pedro Mártir in the north-west of Mexico is the site of the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional. It was one of the five candidate sites for the Thirty Meter Telescope, whose site-testing team spent four years measuring the atmospheric properties on site with a very complete array of instrumentation. Using the public data base created by this team, we apply a novel method to solar radiation data to estimate the daytime fraction of time when the sky is clear of clouds. We analyse the diurnal, seasonal and annual cycles of cloud cover. We find that 82.4 per cent of the time the sky is clear of clouds. Our results are consistent with those obtained by other authors, using different methods, adding support to this value and proving the potential of the applied method. The clear conditions at the site are particularly good showing that San Pedro Mártir is an excellent site for optical and infrared observations.

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