Ultraviolet Night Airglow of Venus

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Jul 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4401, pp. 59-62
DOI: 10.1126/science.205.4401.59


The night airglow spectrum of Venus in the ultraviolet is dominated by the v' = 0 progressions of the gamma and delta bands of nitric oxide. The bands are produced by two-body radiative recombination of nitrogen and oxygen atoms. Since the source of these atoms is in the dayside thermosphere, the night airglow is a tracer of the day-to-night thermospheric circulation. The airglow is brightest at equatorial latitudes, and at longitudes on the morning side of the antisolar meridian.