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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 29, issue 12 | Copyright
Ann. Geophys., 29, 2235-2238, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-29-2235-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 07 Dec 2011

Regular paper | 07 Dec 2011

First detection of the O III 495.8911 and 500.6843 nm lines in the Earth's upper atmosphere

O. Witasse1, T. Slanger2, and R. Thissen3 O. Witasse et al.
  • 1Research and Scientific Support Department of the European Space Agency, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
  • 2Molecular Physics Laboratory, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA, USA
  • 3UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274, Grenoble, 38041, France

Abstract. We report the first detection of two emission lines of the atomic oxygen doubly-charged ion at 495.8911 and 500.6843 nm in the terrestrial upper atmosphere. They correspond to the transitions 1D2-3P1 and 1D2-3P2 of the O++ ion, respectively. The measurements were performed on 30 October 2003 during the "Halloween" storms, with the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) mounted on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. The intensities of these emissions are ~70 mRayleigh, and ~260 mRayleigh, respectively. These emissions constitute a new diagnostic of the state of the ionosphere.

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