The Optical Spectrum of Aurora

  • A. Omholt
Part of the Physics and Chemistry in Space book series (SPACE, volume 4)


The optical spectrum of aurora is characterized by numerous emission lines and bands from atomic and molecular nitrogen and oxygen, neutral as well as singly ionized. In addition, lines from sodium and helium are occasionally observed, and hydrogen lines are regular features in proton aurora. More or less successful attempts to identify the various lines and bands in the auroral spectrum have been made for almost a century. This work took a great upswing about 1950, when improved spectrographs became available. A detailed description of the optical spectrum at wavelengths from about 3300 Å to 11000 Å was given by Chamberlain (1961). Since then, little new information has emerged about this wavelength region. Rocket and satellite data, however, have extended our knowledge about the spectrum into the ultra-violet region, and some more information has become available in the infra-red.


Optical Spectrum Band System Atomic Line Negative Band Auroral Form 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Omholt
    • 1
  1. 1.Fysisk InstituttUniversitet i OsloBlindern, OsloNorway

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