Odin/OSIRIS observations of stratospheric NO3 through sunrise and sunset
Abstract. The nitrate radical (NO3) has been detected in visible limb-scattered spectra measured by the Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) on-board the Odin satellite when observing at large solar zenith angles (91–97°). Apparent slant column densities of NO3 at tangent heights between 10 and 45 km are derived via spectral fitting in the 610–680 nm window. Using observations from multiple scans spanning solar zenith angles of 91–97°, the rapid evolution of NO3 through sunrise and sunset can be traced. Slant column densities are found to be generally consistent with those simulated using a radiative transfer model with coupled photochemistry. In addition, a strong dependence of NO3 with temperature is observed. These results indicate that our current knowledge of NO3 photochemistry is generally consistent with OSIRIS observations to within the limitations of the radiative transfer modeling. Furthermore, they reveal that OSIRIS possesses signal-to-noise sufficient to make useful measurements of scattered sunlight out to solar zenith angles of 91–97° and suggest the possibility of retrieving profile information for NO3 and other species at large solar zenith angles.