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Satellite measurements of high-altitude twilight Mg/plus/ emission

Publication Date
  • Ionospheric Ion Density
  • Magnesium
  • Satellite Observation
  • Twilight Glow
  • Ultraviolet Spectrometers
  • Abundance
  • Annual Variations
  • Data Reduction
  • Drift Rate
  • Ionospheric Drift
  • Metal Ions
  • Ogo-4
  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Mathematical & Earth Sciences :: Space Science
  • Astronomy & Astrophysics [G05]
  • Physique
  • Chimie
  • Mathématiques & Sciences De La Terre :: Aérospatiale
  • Astronomie & Astrophysique [G05]
  • Earth Science
  • Physics


Observations made by the ultraviolet spectrometer on board the orbiting geophysical observatory OGO 4 confirmed the presence of resonance scattering at 2800 A of Mg(plus) ions in the twilight subtropical ionosphere. The column density reached 4 billion ions/sq cm above 160 km. Photometric measurements by the ESRO TD 1 satellite revealed a maximum of the Mg(plus) abundance at equinoxes in the top side F region. The interhemisphere asymmetries observed in the intensity distribution are essentially attributed to the effect of eastward thermospheric winds. The 2800-A doublet was also detected by OGO 4 at middle and high latitudes from 110 to 250 km. The brightness of the emission and other evidence indicate that evaporation of meteoritic matter cannot explain the abundance of ions at 200 km. Therefore Mg(plus) ions are probably transported upward from the 100-km permanent source layer.

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