OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 18, Iss. 20 — Oct. 15, 1979
  • pp: 3390–3393

Airglow events visible to the naked eye

Alan W. Peterson  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 18, Issue 20, pp. 3390-3393 (1979)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1413 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



During IR photographic airglow observations covering several years, three naked-eye events have been recorded. Two of these are moving, luminous acoustic gravity wave groups of some 10–15-km wavelength, which occur near high lunar tide in the atmosphere. The events appear quickly, endure 0.5–1 h, then fade. Visible photos of two events appear enhanced while little enhancement is present in the IR photos, although the structures are well correlated. If these events are due to OH, we suggest that some unrecognized mechanism, perhaps a gravity wave interaction, enhances the visible transitions of the OH over the IR transitions. If the events are due to an unrecognized continuum emitter, perhaps NO, its emission must occur at the same height as the OH. Spectra seem to be the only reasonable approach to solving this problem.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: February 12, 1979
Published: October 15, 1979

Alan W. Peterson, "Airglow events visible to the naked eye," Appl. Opt. 18, 3390-3393 (1979)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. Newcomb, Science 8, 410 (1898). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. C. Hoffmeister, Die Sterne 11, 257 (1931).
  3. C. Hoffmeister, Sitzungsber. Akad. Munchen 129 (1934).
  4. W. R. Corliss, Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena (Sourcebook Project, Glen Arm, Md., 1977).
  5. W. Becker, R. Müller, H. Schneller, Eds., Populäre Astronomie (Barth Verlag, Leipzig, 1948), p. 501.
  6. A. W. Peterson, L. M. Kieffaber, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys. 34, 1357 (1972). [CrossRef]
  7. L. M. Kieffaber, A. W. Peterson, J. Atmos. Terr. Phys. 35, 2013 (1973). [CrossRef]
  8. A. W. Peterson, L. M. Kieffaber, Nature 242, No. 5396, 321 (30March1973). [CrossRef]
  9. F. K. Odenkrantz, J. B. Lee, H. L. Deveraux, J. Geophys. Res. 67, 5131 (1962). [CrossRef]
  10. R. Lemke, A. W. Peterson, Abstract, N. M. Acad. Sci. Bull. 18, No. 1, 21 (April1978).
  11. J. W. Chamberlain, Physics of the Auorora and Airglow (Academic, New York, 1961).
  12. P. M. Banks, G. Kockarts, Aeronomy, Part A (Academic, New York, 1973).
  13. A. W. Peterson, L. M. Kieffaber, Nature 244, 92 (1973). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4 Fig. 5

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited