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Open AccessArticle

Airglow Derived Measurements of Q-Branch Transition Probabilities for Several Hydroxyl Meinel Bands

Department of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Birkeland Centre for Space Science (BCSS), 5007 Bergen, Norway
Department of Physics, Universität Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
Nordic Optical Telescope, E-38700 Santa Cruz De La Palma, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 637;
Received: 27 September 2019 / Revised: 13 October 2019 / Accepted: 15 October 2019 / Published: 22 October 2019
Spectroscopic measurements of the hydroxyl (OH) airglow emissions are often used to infer neutral temperatures near the mesopause. Correct Einstein coefficients for the various transitions in the OH airglow are needed to calculate accurate temperatures. However, studies showed experimentally and theoretically that the most commonly used Einstein spontaneous emission transition probabilities for the Q-branch of the OH Meinel (6,2) transition are overestimated. Extending their work to several Δv = 2 and 3 transitions from v′ = 3 to 9, we have determined Einstein coefficients for the first four Q-branch rotational lines. These have been derived from high resolution, high signal to noise spectroscopic observations of the OH airglow in the night sky from the Nordic Optical Telescope. The Q-branch Einstein coefficients calculated from these spectra show that values currently tabulated in the HITRAN database overestimate many of the Q-branch transition probabilities. The implications for atmospheric temperatures derived from OH Q-branch measurements are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hydroxyl airglow; Einstein coefficients; Meinel bands; Q-branch Hydroxyl airglow; Einstein coefficients; Meinel bands; Q-branch
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Franzen, C.; Espy, P.J.; Hofmann, N.; Hibbins, R.E.; Djupvik, A.A. Airglow Derived Measurements of Q-Branch Transition Probabilities for Several Hydroxyl Meinel Bands. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 637.

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