Electron impact contribution to infrared NO emissions in auroral conditions
Article first published online: 27 NOV 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 22, November 2007
How to Cite
2007), Electron impact contribution to infrared NO emissions in auroral conditions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L22102, doi:10.1029/2007GL031743., and (
- Issue published online: 27 NOV 2007
- Article first published online: 27 NOV 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 15 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Received: 26 AUG 2007
- electron impact;
- NO infrared emissions;
 Infrared emissions from nitric oxide, other than nightglow, are observed in aurora, principally due to a chemiluminescent reaction between excited nitrogen atoms and oxygen molecules that produces vibrationally excited NO. The rates for this chemiluminescent reaction have recently been revised. Based on new measurements of electron impact vibrational excitation of NO, it has been suggested that electron impact may also be significant in producing auroral NO emissions. We show results of a detailed calculation which predicts the infrared spectrum observed in rocket measurements, using the revised chemiluminescent rates and including electron impact excitation. For emissions from the second vibrational level and above, the shape of the spectrum can be reproduced within the statistical errors of the analysis of the measurements, although there is an unexplained discrepancy in the absolute value of the emissions. The inclusion of electron impact improves the agreement of the shape of the predicted spectrum with the measurements by accounting for part of the previously unexplained peak in emissions from the first vibrational level.