Seasonal variation of thermospheric composition observed by NASA GOLD

We examine characteristics of the seasonal variation of thermospheric composition using column number density ratio n-ary sumation O/N-2 observed by the NASA Global Observations of Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission from low-mid to mid-high latitudes. We also use n-ary sumation O/N-2 derived from the Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) limb measurements onboard the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite and estimated by the NRLMSISE-00 empirical model to aid our investigation. We found that the n-ary sumation O/N-2 seasonal variation is hemispherically asymmetric: in the southern hemisphere, it exhibits the well-known annual and semiannual pattern, with highs near the equinoxes, and primary and secondary lows near the solstices. In the northern hemisphere, it is dominated by an annual variation, with a minor semiannual component with the highs shifting toward the wintertime. We also found that the durations of the December and June solstice seasons in terms of n-ary sumation O/N-2 are highly variable with longitude. Our hypothesis is that ion-neutral collisional heating in the equatorial ionization anomaly region, ion drag, and auroral Joule heating play substantial roles in this longitudinal dependency. Finally, the rate of change in n-ary sumation O/N-2 from one solstice season to the other is dependent on latitude, with more dramatic changes at higher latitudes.

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Author Qian, Liying
Gan, Quan
Wang, Wenbin
Cai, Xuguang
Eastes, Richard
Yue, Jia
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2022-06-17T00:00:00
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Topic Category geoscientificInformation
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Metadata Date 2023-08-18T18:17:53.154438
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:25530
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Qian, Liying, Gan, Quan, Wang, Wenbin, Cai, Xuguang, Eastes, Richard, Yue, Jia. (2022). Seasonal variation of thermospheric composition observed by NASA GOLD. UCAR/NCAR - Library. Accessed 01 October 2023.

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