Articles | Volume 35, issue 3
Ann. Geophys., 35, 567–582, 2017
Ann. Geophys., 35, 567–582, 2017

Regular paper 18 Apr 2017

Regular paper | 18 Apr 2017

Seasonal MLT-region nightglow intensities, temperatures, and emission heights at a Southern Hemisphere midlatitude site

Iain M. Reid1,2, Andrew J. Spargo2, Jonathan M. Woithe1, Andrew R. Klekociuk2,3, Joel P. Younger1,2, and Gulamabas G. Sivjee4 Iain M. Reid et al.
  • 1ATRAD Pty Ltd, 20 Phillips St., Thebarton, 5031, Australia
  • 2School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5000, Australia
  • 3Antarctica and the Global System, Australian Antarctic Division, Department of the Environment and Energy, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia
  • 4Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Department Physical Sciences, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, USA

Abstract. We consider 5 years of spectrometer measurements of OH(6–2) and O2(0–1) airglow emission intensities and temperatures made near Adelaide, Australia (35° S, 138° E), between September 2001 and August 2006 and compare them with measurements of the same parameters from at the same site using an airglow imager, with the intensities of the OH(8–3) and O(1S) emissions made with a filter photometer, and with 2 years of Aura MLS (Microwave Limb Sounder) v3.3 temperatures and 4.5 years of TIMED SABER (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry) v2.0 temperatures for the same site. We also consider whether we can recover the actual emission heights from the intercomparison of the ground-based and satellite observations. We find a significant improvement in the correlation between the spectrometer OH and SABER temperatures by interpolating the latter to constant density surfaces determined using a meteor radar.

Short summary
We measured temperatures in the atmosphere at heights near 90 km using nightglow emissions and compared them with satellite measurements and with measurements made with a meteor radar. We found good agreement between the techniques, which improved when we used the meteor radar and satellite data to measure densities at two heights separated by about 10 km to estimate the nightglow emission height.