Abstract

Present knowledge of the upper atmosphere is reviewed, and the various absorption and emission phenomena are discussed. Topics included are: chemical composition, ionization, temperatures, aurora, night airglow, and twilight and day airglow. A short bibliography lists the standard reference works on this material.

© 1964 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. J. A. Ratcliffe, Physics of the Upper Atmosphere (Academic Press, New York, 1960).
  2. J. W. Chamberlain, Physics of the Aurora and Airglow (Academic Press, New York, 1961).
  3. D. R. Bates, The Earth as a Planet, G. P. Kuiper ed. (Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1954), Chap. 12.
  4. S. K. Mitra, The Upper Atmosphere, 2nd ed. (The Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1952).
  5. D. R. Bates, The Earth and Its Atmosphere (Basic Books, New York, 1958).
  6. H. S. W. Massey, R. L. F. Boyd, The Upper Atmosphere (Hutchinson and Co., London, 1958).
  7. D. R. Bates, ed., “Theoretical Interpretation of Upper Atmosphere Emissions”, Planetary Space Sci. 10 (1963) [also reprinted as Intern. Astron. Union Symp. No. 18 (1962)].
  8. D. M. Hunten, Ann. Géophys. 17, 249 (1961).
  9. J. E. Blamont, T. M. Donahue, J. Geophys. Res. 66, 1407 (1961).
    [CrossRef]
  10. L. Wallace, R. A. Nidey, J. Geophys. Res. (to be published).
  11. J. F. Noxon, R. M. Goody, J. Atmos. Sci. 19, 342 (1962).
    [CrossRef]
  12. E. C. Zipf, W. G. Fastie, J. Geophys. Res. (to be published).
  13. J. F. Noxon, A. Vallance Jones, Nature 196, 157 (1962).
    [CrossRef]

1963

D. R. Bates, ed., “Theoretical Interpretation of Upper Atmosphere Emissions”, Planetary Space Sci. 10 (1963) [also reprinted as Intern. Astron. Union Symp. No. 18 (1962)].

1962

J. F. Noxon, R. M. Goody, J. Atmos. Sci. 19, 342 (1962).
[CrossRef]

J. F. Noxon, A. Vallance Jones, Nature 196, 157 (1962).
[CrossRef]

1961

D. M. Hunten, Ann. Géophys. 17, 249 (1961).

J. E. Blamont, T. M. Donahue, J. Geophys. Res. 66, 1407 (1961).
[CrossRef]

Bates, D. R.

D. R. Bates, The Earth as a Planet, G. P. Kuiper ed. (Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1954), Chap. 12.

D. R. Bates, The Earth and Its Atmosphere (Basic Books, New York, 1958).

Blamont, J. E.

J. E. Blamont, T. M. Donahue, J. Geophys. Res. 66, 1407 (1961).
[CrossRef]

Boyd, R. L. F.

H. S. W. Massey, R. L. F. Boyd, The Upper Atmosphere (Hutchinson and Co., London, 1958).

Chamberlain, J. W.

J. W. Chamberlain, Physics of the Aurora and Airglow (Academic Press, New York, 1961).

Donahue, T. M.

J. E. Blamont, T. M. Donahue, J. Geophys. Res. 66, 1407 (1961).
[CrossRef]

Fastie, W. G.

E. C. Zipf, W. G. Fastie, J. Geophys. Res. (to be published).

Goody, R. M.

J. F. Noxon, R. M. Goody, J. Atmos. Sci. 19, 342 (1962).
[CrossRef]

Hunten, D. M.

D. M. Hunten, Ann. Géophys. 17, 249 (1961).

Massey, H. S. W.

H. S. W. Massey, R. L. F. Boyd, The Upper Atmosphere (Hutchinson and Co., London, 1958).

Mitra, S. K.

S. K. Mitra, The Upper Atmosphere, 2nd ed. (The Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1952).

Nidey, R. A.

L. Wallace, R. A. Nidey, J. Geophys. Res. (to be published).

Noxon, J. F.

J. F. Noxon, R. M. Goody, J. Atmos. Sci. 19, 342 (1962).
[CrossRef]

J. F. Noxon, A. Vallance Jones, Nature 196, 157 (1962).
[CrossRef]

Ratcliffe, J. A.

J. A. Ratcliffe, Physics of the Upper Atmosphere (Academic Press, New York, 1960).

Vallance Jones, A.

J. F. Noxon, A. Vallance Jones, Nature 196, 157 (1962).
[CrossRef]

Wallace, L.

L. Wallace, R. A. Nidey, J. Geophys. Res. (to be published).

Zipf, E. C.

E. C. Zipf, W. G. Fastie, J. Geophys. Res. (to be published).

Ann. Géophys.

D. M. Hunten, Ann. Géophys. 17, 249 (1961).

J. Atmos. Sci.

J. F. Noxon, R. M. Goody, J. Atmos. Sci. 19, 342 (1962).
[CrossRef]

J. Geophys. Res.

J. E. Blamont, T. M. Donahue, J. Geophys. Res. 66, 1407 (1961).
[CrossRef]

Nature

J. F. Noxon, A. Vallance Jones, Nature 196, 157 (1962).
[CrossRef]

Planetary Space Sci.

D. R. Bates, ed., “Theoretical Interpretation of Upper Atmosphere Emissions”, Planetary Space Sci. 10 (1963) [also reprinted as Intern. Astron. Union Symp. No. 18 (1962)].

Other

L. Wallace, R. A. Nidey, J. Geophys. Res. (to be published).

E. C. Zipf, W. G. Fastie, J. Geophys. Res. (to be published).

J. A. Ratcliffe, Physics of the Upper Atmosphere (Academic Press, New York, 1960).

J. W. Chamberlain, Physics of the Aurora and Airglow (Academic Press, New York, 1961).

D. R. Bates, The Earth as a Planet, G. P. Kuiper ed. (Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1954), Chap. 12.

S. K. Mitra, The Upper Atmosphere, 2nd ed. (The Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1952).

D. R. Bates, The Earth and Its Atmosphere (Basic Books, New York, 1958).

H. S. W. Massey, R. L. F. Boyd, The Upper Atmosphere (Hutchinson and Co., London, 1958).

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Atmospheric temperature and nomenclature. The details of the temperature distribution above 150 km are somewhat uncertain, and there are certainly large variations in the temperature of the exosphere.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Atmospheric composition and ionization. The curves are somewhat schematic and omit fine details. The uncertainties grow rapidly above 100 km, and there is evidence for large variations in this region, some of them depending on solar activity. This is particularly true of the electron concentration, but also holds for the neutral particles.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Penetration of solar radiation as a function of wavelength, after Friedman (in ref. 1). At this height the intensity is reduced to 1/e for overhead sun. (Figure reproduced courtesy of Academic Press.)

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Measurement of atmospheric temperature from a band of N2+ in the aurora. The upper tracing shows a sunlit aurora in the exosphere, at a temperature of 2200°K. The lower is of a normal aurora at about 300°K. (Vallance Jones and Hunten,13 figure reproduced courtesy of Nature.)

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

A map by Frite in 1881, showing contours “of equal probably of occurrence of aurora.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Spectrum of the dayglow observed from a rocket.10 (Figure reproduced courtesy of Wallace and Nidey and of Journal of Geophysical Research.)

Equations (9)

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O + O 2 + M O 3 + M ,
O + O + M O 2 + M
O + O 3 O 2 + O 2 .
N 2 + h ν N 2 + + e ,
N 2 + + O NO + + N .
O + O + M O 2 + M
NO + + e N + O * .
O 3 + H O 2 + OH *
OH + O O 2 + H .

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