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Keywords:

  • planetary wave;
  • mesosphere;
  • thermosphere

[1] Extreme longitudinal disturbances in the O(1S) emission rate and horizontal winds in the mesosphere and thermosphere (90–180 km) are identified on three March days in 1994, 1996, and 1997 in the database of the Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII) on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). This type of disturbance has a wave structure with apparent zonal wavenumber 1 and a very long vertical wavelength. It generates longitudinal amplitudes of 70 photons cm−3 s−1 and 120 ms−1 in the O(1S) volume emission rate and winds, respectively, and is strong enough to break the structures of migrating tides in the E-region. In the same longitudinal zone for day and night the zonal wind driven by this disturbance has the same phase, suggesting a wave with s = −1 and a very long period, but the meridional wind has opposite phases, suggesting a standing non-migrating diurnal tide. This super disturbance has not been observed before, and fundamental questions about it await future investigation.