Airglow Derived Measurements of Q-Branch Transition Probabilities for Several Hydroxyl Meinel Bands
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAtmosphere. 2019, 10 637-?. 10.3390/atmos10100637
Spectroscopic measurements of the hydroxyl (OH) airglow emissions are often used to infer neutral temperatures near the mesopause. Correct Einstein coefficients for the various transitions in the OH airglow are needed to calculate accurate temperatures. However, some studies showed experimentally and theoretically that the most commonly used Einstein spontaneous emission transition probabilities for the Q-branch of the OH Meinel (6,2) transition are overestimated. Extending their work to several Delta v = 2 and 3 transitions from v' = 3 to 9, we have determined Einstein coefficients for the first four Q-branch rotational lines. These have been derived from high resolution, high signal to noise spectroscopic observations of the OH airglow in the night sky from the Nordic Optical Telescope. The Q-branch Einstein coefficients calculated from these spectra show that values currently tabulated in the HITRAN database overestimate many of the Q-branch transition probabilities. The implications for atmospheric temperatures derived from OH Q-branch measurements are discussed.