Articles | Volume 19, issue 4
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 2629–2634, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-2629-2019

Special issue: Layered phenomena in the mesopause region (ACP/AMT inter-journal...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 2629–2634, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-2629-2019

Technical note 28 Feb 2019

Technical note | 28 Feb 2019

Technical note: Bimodality in mesospheric OH rotational population distributions and implications for temperature measurements

Konstantinos S. Kalogerakis

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Latest update: 27 Feb 2021
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Short summary
Light emission from energetic hydroxyl radical, OH*, is a prominent feature in spectra of the night sky. It is routinely used to determine the temperature of the atmosphere near 90 km. This note shows that the common practice of using only a few emission features from low rotational excitation to determine rotational temperatures does not account for the bimodality of the OH population distributions and can lead to large systematic errors.
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