University of Oulu

Oyama, S., Tsuda, T., Hosokawa, K., Ogawa, Y., Miyoshi, Y., Kurita, S., Kero, A., Fujii, R., Tanaka, Y., Mizuno, A., Kawabata, T., Gustavsson, B., Leyser, T. (2018) Auroral molecular-emission effects on the atomic oxygen line at 777.4 nm. Earth, Planets and Space, 70 (1), 166. doi:10.1186/s40623-018-0936-z

Auroral molecular-emission effects on the atomic oxygen line at 777.4 nm

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Author: Oyama, Shin-ichiro1,2,3; Tsuda, Takuo T.4; Hosokawa, Keisuke4;
Organizations: 1ISEE Nagoya University, F3-3 Furo Chikusa, Nagoya Aichi, 464-8601, Japan
2Ionospheric Physics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, Linnanmaa, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3National Institute of Polar Research, 10-3, Midori-cho, Tachikawa-shi Tokyo, 190-8518, Japan
4The University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu Tokyo, 182-8585, Japan
5Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Tähteläntie 62, 99600 Sodankylä, Finland
6Research Organization of Information and Systems, Toranomon 4-3-13, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001, Japan
7University of Tromsø, Norway, Hansine Hansens veg 18, 9019 Tromsø, Norway
8Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Box 537, 751 21 Uppsala, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-11-26


One of the representative auroral emission lines that radiates from F-region heights and is measurable on the ground is the 777.4 nm line from excited atomic oxygen. This line has been adopted, along with another E-region emission line, for example 427.8 nm, to estimate the mean energy and total energy flux of precipitating auroral electrons. The influence of emissions from part of the molecular nitrogen band, which mainly radiate from E-region heights, should be carefully evaluated because it might overlap the 777.4 nm atomic oxygen line in the spectrum. We performed statistical analysis of auroral spectrograph measurements that were obtained during the winter of 2016–2017 in Tromsø, Norway, to derive the ratio of the intensity of the 777.4 nm atomic oxygen line to that of the net measurement through a typically used optical filter with a full width at half maximum of a few nm. The ratio had a negative trend against geomagnetic activity, with a primary distribution of 0.5–0.7 and a minimum value of 0.3 for the most active auroral condition in this study. This result suggests that the 30–50% emission intensities measured through the optical filter may be from the molecular nitrogen band.

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Series: Earth, planets and space
ISSN: 1343-8832
ISSN-E: 1880-5981
ISSN-L: 1343-8832
Volume: 70
Article number: 166
DOI: 10.1186/s40623-018-0936-z
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: This research has been supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (15H05747, 15H05815, 16H06286, 16K05569, 16H02230) and Special Funds for Education and Research (Energy Transport Processes in Geospace) from MEXT, Japan. AK has been supported by a tenure track project in Radio Science at Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.