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Atmospheric ultraviolet and red-infrared flashes from Universitetsky- Tatiana-2 satellite data

Atmospheric ultraviolet and red-infrared flashes from Universitetsky- Tatiana-2 satellite data
Vedenkin N.N.Garipov G.K.Klimov P.A.Klimenko V.V.Mareev E.A.Martinez O.Morozenko V.S.Park I.Panasyuk M.I.Ponce E.Salazar H.Tulupov V.I.Khrenov B.A.Yashin I.V.
Ewha Authors
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics
1063-7761JCR Link
vol. 113, no. 5, pp. 781 - 790
Millisecond ultraviolet (240-400 nm) and red-infrared (610-800 nm) flashes were detected in the nighttime atmosphere with the scientific payload installed onboard the Universitetsky-Tatiana-2 microsatellite. Flashes with various numbers of photons, from 10 20 to 10 26, were detected within the atmospheric area 300 km in diameter observed by the detector. The flashes differ in duration and temporal profile: from single short flashes ∼1 ms in duration to flashes with a complex profile more than 100 ms in duration. Different global geographic distributions are observed for flashes with different numbers of photons. Flashes with fewer than 10 22 photons are distributed uniformly over the Earth's map. Flashes with more than 10 22 photons are concentrated near the equator and above the continents. Series of flashes were observed in one turn of the satellite when flying not only over thunderstorm regions but also over cloudless ones. The flash number distribution has been derived from the ratio of the numbers of red-infrared and ultraviolet photons. As applied to discharges in the upper atmosphere, whose glow is dominated by the emission in the first and second positive systems of molecular nitrogen bands (1PN 2 and 2PN 2), this distribution is equivalent to the flash altitude distribution in the atmosphere. The observed ratio of the numbers of photons in red-infrared and ultraviolet flashes agrees with the calculated one for electric discharges at altitudes higher than 50 km. In-orbit measurements of the charged particle flux (with a threshold energy for electrons of 1 MeV) provide no evidence for a synchronous occurrence of an ultraviolet flash and a burst in the particle flux in the orbit. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2011.
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