2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
[PEM15-15] Understanding the OH Meinel Band Emissions on the Terrestrial Planets
Keywords:OH Meinel band emission, Nightglow, vibrational relaxation, Terrestrial planets
Our recent studies demonstrated a previously unknown, efficient pathway for vibrational relaxation of OH(v) by O atoms that couples the mesospheric OH(v) emissions with the CO2 4.3-micron emission and resolves a long-standing problem of severe discrepancies between model predictions and observations of the 4.3-micron emission in the Earth’s atmosphere [Panka et al. , ACP 17, 9751-9760 (2017); Kalogerakis et al., GRL 43, 8835-8843 (2016)]. This recent breakthrough development highlights the importance of investigating the mechanistic details of OH(v) collisional energy transfer.
We will discuss our efforts to investigate OH(v) vibrational relaxation relevant to the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets. Important areas of interest are the key OH(v) vibrational relaxation rate constants at temperatures relevant to the altitude of the emission layer and the pathways of OH(v) vibrational energy relaxation. The Meinel OH(v) emissions can be used as an indicator of atmospheric composition, variability, circulation, gravity waves, and as a probe of local temperature. A detailed understanding of the sources and sinks of these emissions is a prerequisite before they can be reliably used as a proxy for the aforementioned processes.