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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 10/11
Ann. Geophys., 12, 1085-1090, 1994
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-994-1085-1
© European Geosciences Union 1994
Ann. Geophys., 12, 1085-1090, 1994
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-994-1085-1
© European Geosciences Union 1994

  31 Aug 1994

31 Aug 1994

The role of vibrationally excited oxygen and nitrogen in the D and E regions of the ionosphere

A. V. Pavlov A. V. Pavlov

Abstract. In this paper we present the results of a study of the effect of vibrationally excited oxygen, O*2, and nitrogen, N*2, on the electron density, Ne, and the electron temperature, Te, in the D and E regions. The sources of O*2 are O-atom recombination, the photodissociation of O3, and the reaction of O3 with O at D region altitudes. The first calculations of O*2( j) number densities, Nj, are obtained by solving continuity equations for the models of harmonic and anharmonic oscillator energy levels, j=1-22. It is found that day time values of Nj are less than nighttime values. We also show that the photoionization of O*2 ( j ≥ 11) by Lα-radiation has no influence on the D region Ne. In the nighttime D region the photoionization O*2 ( j ≥ 11) by scattered Lα-radiation can be a new source of O+2. We show that the N*2 and O*2 de-excitation effect on the electron temperature is small in the E region of the ionosphere and cannot explain experimentally observed higher electron temperatures.

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