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Title: Relative brightness of the O{sup +}({sup 2} D-{sup 2} P) doublets in low-energy aurorae

The ratio of the emission line doublets from O{sup +} at 732.0 nm (I {sub 732}) and 733.0 nm (I {sub 733}) has been measured in auroral conditions of low-energy electron precipitation from Svalbard (78.°20 north, 15.°83 east). Accurate determination of R = I {sub 732}/I {sub 733} provides a powerful method for separating the density of the O{sup +} {sup 2} P{sub 1} {sub /2,3} {sub /2}{sup o} levels in modeling of the emissions from the doublets. A total of 383 spectra were included from the winter of 2003-2004. The value obtained is R = I {sub 732}/I {sub 733} = 1.38 ± 0.02, which is higher than theoretical values for thermal equilibrium in fully ionized plasma, but is lower than reported measurements by other authors in similar auroral conditions. The continuity equations for the densities of the two levels are solved for different conditions, in order to estimate the possible variations of R. The results suggest that the production of ions in the two levels from O ({sup 3} P {sub 1}) and O ({sup 3} P {sub 2}) does not follow the statistical weights, unlike astrophysical calculations for plasmas in nebulae. The physics of auroral impact ionizationmore » may account for this difference, and therefore for the raised value of R. In addition, the auroral solution of the densities of the ions, and thus of the value of R, is sensitive to the temperature of the neutral atmosphere. Although the present work is a statistical study, it shows that it is necessary to determine whether there are significant variations in the ratio resulting from non-equilibrium conditions, from auroral energy deposition, large electric fields, and changes in temperature and composition.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palménin Aukio 1, FI-00560 Helsinki (Finland)
  2. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ (United Kingdom)
  3. Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Teknikringen 31, SE-100 44 Stockholm (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370067
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 797; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; ATMOSPHERES; AURORAE; BRIGHTNESS; CONTINUITY EQUATIONS; DENSITY; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRON PRECIPITATION; EMISSION; ENERGY ABSORPTION; ENERGY LOSSES; IONIZATION; NEBULAE; OXYGEN IONS; PLANETS; PLASMA; SATELLITES; SIMULATION; SPECTRA; THERMAL EQUILIBRIUM