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The University of Southampton

The Site

The OAN-SPM is located on the Sierra San Pedro Mártir in Ensenada, Baja California, México. It is specifically located located at 115°27´49" E 31°02´39" N with an altitude of 2,830 meters. The average annual temperature in SPM is 3 C, with extremes between -10 C and 20 C. The average pressure is 0.74 atm. The OAN-SPM is one of the best observing sites in the Northern Hemisphere with 82% of clear sky nights (Carrasco et al. 2012).

The OAN is located in the Baja California, MX. Credits: Google Earth.

OPTICAM will be installed at the OAN-SPM, This site has excellent observing characteristics. The weather is good, averaging around 290 clear nights per year. When the visit occurs for scientific reasons and has been previously authorized transportation to the facilities is in charge of the OAN-SPM itself. Travel time is approximately 4 hours and 300 km traveled from the city of Ensenada.

The Baja California peninsula at night. Credit: Earth at Night.

The nominal seeing is 0.6 arc sec, and the sky is very dark (V = 21.5 mag/sq. arc sec, R = 20.7 mag/sq. arc sec). The state of Baja California has recently enacted a light pollution ordinance, so the sky should remain dark for the foreseeable future. More details in the "Ley del Cielo" website.

Eagle view of the OAN-SPM. Credits: Google Earth.

The OAN-SPM facilities are situated within Sierra San Pedro National Park in central Baja California, along the the Sierra San Pedro Mártir (SSPM). SSPM is a rugged granitic range with highest elevations over 3000 m in the northern part of the Peninsula of Baja California, Mexico, is directly exposed to weather systems delivering precipitation to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Source: Meko et al. (2013).

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