P. E. Sheese, et al.
Nighttime nitric oxide densities in the Southern Hemisphere mesosphere–lower thermosphere
Geophysical Research Letters, 38(15), L15812, 2011; doi: 10.1029/2011GL048054
NO2 Airglow aurora Middle atmosphere OSIRIS Odin mesosphere nitric oxide


[1] Observations of NO2 continuum nightglow emissions from OSIRIS, on board the Odin satellite, have been used to derive an eight-year time series of Southern Hemispheric nitric oxide densities, [NO]. OSIRIS is one of the very few current satellite instruments deriving ground state [NO] during the polar winter. The production of NO in this region is strongly dependent on energetic particle precipitation (EPP), and densities are therefore observed to vary with solar activity. Between 2003 and 2009, mean Antarctic winter [NO] in the mesosphere–lower thermosphere decreased by a factor of 3.7, and now, after the prolonged solar minimum that spanned 2008–2009, [NO] in this region is on the rise. As solar activity increases in the next few years, the production of NO is expected to increase. As downward advection readily transports NOx into the lower mesosphere and stratosphere, such an increase will lead to a greater potential for stratospheric ozone loss.


  author = "P. E. Sheese and R. L. Gattinger and E. J. Llewellyn and C. D. Boone and K. Strong",
  title = "Nighttime nitric oxide densities in the Southern Hemisphere mesosphere–lower thermosphere",
  year = 2011,
  journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
  volume = 38,
  number = 15,
  pages = "L15812",
  month = "Aug",
  keywords = "NO2, Airglow, aurora, Middle atmosphere, OSIRIS, Odin, mesosphere, nitric oxide",
  doi = "10.1029/2011GL048054",
  url = ""
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