Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae Sun, Earth, planets, and planetary systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 29, 2211-2217, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Regular paper
01 Dec 2011
The TWINS exospheric neutral H-density distribution under solar minimum conditions
J. H. Zoennchen1, J. J. Bailey2, U. Nass1, M. Gruntman2, H. J. Fahr1, and J. Goldstein3,4 1Argelander Institut für Astronomie, Astrophysics Department, University of Bonn, Auf dem Huegel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2University of Southern California, Department of Astronautical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, Los Angeles, CA 90089-1192, USA
3Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, USA
4University of Texas, San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA
Abstract. Terrestrial exospheric atomic hydrogen (H) resonantly scatters solar Lyman-α (121.567 nm) radiation, observed as the glow of the H-geocorona. The Two Wide-angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers (TWINS) satellites are equiped with two Lyman-α line-of-sight Detectors (LADs) each. Since during the past solar minimum conditions the relevant solar control parameters practically did not vary, we are using LAD data between June and September 2008 to create a time averaged hydrogen geocorona model representative for these solar minimum conditions. In this averaged model we assume that the H-geocorona is longitudinally symmetric with respect to the earth-sun line. We find a 3-dimensional H-density distribution in the range from 3 to 8 earth radii which with some caution can also be extrapolated to larger distances. For lower geocentric distances than 3 earth radii a best fitting r-dependent Chamberlain (1963)-like model is adapted. Main findings are larger than conventionally expected H-densities at heights above 5 RE and a pronounced day-to-night side H-density asymmetry. The H-geocorona presented here should serve as a reference H-atmosphere for the earth during solar minimum conditions.

Citation: Zoennchen, J. H., Bailey, J. J., Nass, U., Gruntman, M., Fahr, H. J., and Goldstein, J.: The TWINS exospheric neutral H-density distribution under solar minimum conditions, Ann. Geophys., 29, 2211-2217,, 2011.
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