Abstract A numerical model of the luminosity of the Lyman-Birge-Hopfield bands in aurora is presented. A new method of determining the production rates of atmospheric species excited by auroral electrons has been applied in this model. A special feature of the suggested approach is the direct relationship between the initial electron flux and the production rate at the arbitrary altitude, which allows the solution of the electron transport equation to be avoided. The contribution of the intersystem transitions between the a 1∏ g , ′ 1 σ − u , w 1 Δ u states into the population of the vibrational levels of the a 1∏ g state is discussed. Good agreement between the theoretical results and experimental data is demonstrated.