Summary: Planet. Space Sci. 1971, Vol. 19, pp.1225 to 1228. Pcrgamon Press. Printed in Northern Ireland
THE INFLUENCE OF THERMOSPHERIC WINDS ON THE
AURORAL RED-LINE PROFILE OF ATOMIC OXYGEN
P. B. HAYS and S. K. ATBEYA
High Altitude Engineering Laboratory, Department of Aerospace Engineering,
Meteorology and Oceanography, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, U.S.A.
(Received infinalform 10 May 1971)
Abstract-The effect of thermospheric winds on the emission profile of 16300 is discussed. It
is shown that meridional winds play a significant role in determining the shape of this emis-
sion and the conventional diffusion of O(lO) hypothesis, though important, is not adequate to
explain the observed features completely.
Rees (1961) and Rees, Walker, and Dalgarno (1967) noted that the spatial distribution
of the atomic oxygen red line emission in an aurora is strongly influenced by diffusion due
to the long lifetime of O(lO). We wish to point out that horizontal winds are of equal
importance and may have an observable influence on the shape of 6300 A emission profile
observed from the ground.
Recent doppler observations (Hays and Roble, 1971) of meridional winds in the thermo-
sphere during magnetic storms indicate that speeds in excess of 300 m/set are not infrequent
During the 110 set lifetime of an O(lO) atom it can drift meridionally of the order of 30 km,
This is the same order as the diffusive drifts noted by Rees et al. (1967). Consequently,