Abstract

The aerosol extinction measurements in the ultraviolet and visible wavelengths by the balloonborne spectrometer Spectroscopie d’Absorption Lunaire pour l’Observation des Minoritaires Ozone et NOx (SALOMON) show that aerosols are present in the middle stratosphere, above 25-km altitude. These observations are confirmed by the extinction measurements performed by a solar occultation radiometer. The balloonborne Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) counter instrument also confirms the presence of aerosol around 30-km altitude, with an unrealistic excess of micronic particles assuming that only liquid sulfate aerosols are present. An unexpected spectral structure around 640-nm observed by SALOMON is also detectable in extinction measurements by the satellite instrument Stratospheric Aerosols and Gas Experiment III. This set of measurements could indicate that solid aerosols were detected at these altitude ranges. The amount of soot detected up to now in the lower stratosphere is too low to explain these measurements. Thus, the presence of interplanetary dust grains and micrometeorites may need to be invoked. Moreover, it seems that these grains fill the stratosphere in stratified layers.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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