Visual Observations of Nightglow from Manned Spacecraft

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Science  30 Nov 1962:
Vol. 138, Issue 3544, pp. 978-980
DOI: 10.1126/science.138.3544.978


The luminous band around the horizon noted by J. Glenn in the first U.S. manned orbital flight is attributable to airglow. Dip-of-the-horizon measurements on the star γ Ursae Majoris showed that the band is centered at an elevation of 91 kilometers or somewhat higher. The edge-on brightness of the airglow layer was 6 x 10-7 candles per square centimeter.