Articles | Volume 19, issue 3
31 Mar 2001
 | 31 Mar 2001

Mesospheric temperatures from observations of the hydroxyl (6–2) emission above Davis, Antarctica: A comparison of rotational and Doppler measurements

J. L. Innis, F. A. Phillips, G. B. Burns, P. A. Greet, W. J. R. French, and P. L. Dyson

Abstract. We present observations of the hydroxyl (6–2) airglow lines from ~ 87 km altitude obtained at Davis station, Antarctica, in the austral winter of 1999. Nine nights of observations were made of the P-branch near λ840 nm with a Czerny-Turner scanning spectrometer (CTS); at the same time, high-resolution Fabry-Perot Spectrometer (FPS) spectra were collected of the Q1(1) doublet at λ834 nm. Rotational temperatures were determined from the CTS observations, while Doppler temperatures were derived from the line-widths of the FPS Q1(1) spectra. Absolute temperatures determined by these methods are uncertain by ~ 2 and ~ 20 K, respectively. For the comparison we set the value of the reflective finesse of the FPS at λ834 nm so the mean FPS temperature from one night of simultaneous data was equal to that from the CTS, and then looked at the measured variations in each data set for the other eight nights. Both instruments show the upper mesosphere temperature to vary in a similar manner to within the observational errors of the measurements, implying an equivalence of the rotational and Doppler temperatures. We believe that this is the first published simultaneous, same-site, comparison of rotational and Doppler temperatures from the OH emission.

Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (airglow and aurora; pressure density and temperature; instruments and techniques)