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Variability of the mesospheric nightglow sodium D2/D1 ratio
Molecular Physics Laboratory, SRI International, Menlo Park.
Molecular Physics Laboratory, SRI International, Menlo Park.
Molecular Physics Laboratory, SRI International, Menlo Park.
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich.
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2005 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 110, no 23, p. 1-8, article id D23302Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Measurements of the intensity ratio of the 589.0/589.6 nm sodium doublet in the terrestrial nightglow over an 8-year period, involving >300 separate determinations, have established that it is variable, the value RD = I(D2)/I(D1) lying between 1.2 and 1.8. Sky spectra from the Keck I telescope with the High-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) échelle spectrograph and the Keck II telescope with the Échellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI) échelle spectrograph were used in this analysis. The result contrasts with the accepted view, from earlier measurements at midlatitude, that the ratio is 2.0, as expected on statistical grounds. The lack of dependence of the ratio on viewing elevation angle, and hence Na slant column, allows self-absorption to be ruled out as a cause of the variability. The data suggest a semiannual oscillation in the ratio, maximum at the equinoxes and minimum at the solstices. Airborne measurements over the North Atlantic (40°-50°N) in 2002 show an even larger range in the nightglow ratio and no correlation with the upper mesospheric temperature determined from the OH 6-2 bands. A laboratory study confirms that the ratio does not depend on temperature; however, it is shown to be sensitive to the [O]/[O2] ratio. It is therefore postulated that the variable ratio arises from a competition between O reacting with NaO(A3∑+), produced from the reaction of Na with O3, to yield D-line emission with a D2/D1 ratio greater than about 2.0, and quenching by O2 to produce NaO(X2II), possibly with vibrational excitation, which then reacts with O to produce emission with a ratio of less than 1.3. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 110, no 23, p. 1-8, article id D23302
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-8782DOI: 10.1029/2005JD006078ISI: 000233936300003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-41549160111Local ID: 750f0b4f-3755-43d9-91d9-3beb7731632fOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-8782DiVA, id: diva2:981720
Note

Upprättat; 2005; 20150116 (ninhul)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2019-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Martin-Torres, Javier

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