Excitation of oxygen permitted line emissions in the tropical nightglow


  • B. A. Tinsley,

  • A. B. Christensen,

  • J. Bittencourt,

  • H. Gouveia,

  • P. D. Angreji,

  • H. Takahashi


The ultraviolet oxygen emissions at 1304 and 1356 A in the tropical nightglow seen from Ogo 4 by Hicks and Chubb and Barth and Schaffner are accompanied by emissions at 7774 and 4368 A, which have been studied from the ground by looking through the beam of an ionosonde operated under the Appleton anomaly ionization peaks. Simultaneous [O I] 6300-A measurements were also made. A theoretical value for the partial rate coefficient for 7774 emission by radiative recombination has been obtained, and from the ionospheric data and a model atmosphere the expected rates of radiative recombination and ion-ion recombination were calculated. The time variations and absolute intensity of the calculated and observed intensities agree reasonably well, when the uncertainties involved are considered. It is concluded that radiative recombination is the major source of the tropical oxygen permitted line emissions, accompanied by a small contribution from ion-ion recombination.