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The wavelength dependence of the atmospheric extinction at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory is currently in the process of being measured. Until these data become available a satisfactory approach for many applications is to correct spectroscopic and photometric observations unsing a theoretical extinction curve, calculated as suggested by Hayes and Latham (1975). Comparisons between calculated and observed mean extinction coefficients for Lick and Cerro Tololo observatories appear to suggest that the calculated extinction curve is probably accurate to within a few hundredths of a magnitude. This is also borne out by available data for La Palma (see below).

This note gives such a theoretical extinction curve, appropriate to the altitude of the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and covering the spectral range 300011000Å. The data are presented in graphical and tabular form.

Fri Jun 10 17:31:56 BST 1994