First spaceborne observation of the entire concentric airglow structure caused by tropospheric disturbance

Y. Akiya, A. Saito, T. Sakanoi, Y. Hozumi, A. Yamazaki, Y. Otsuka, M. Nishioka, T. Tsugawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Spaceborne imagers are able to observe the airglow structures with wide field of views regardless of the tropospheric condition that limits the observational time of the ground-based imagers. Concentric wave structures of the O2 airglow in 762 nm wavelength were observed over North America on 1 June 2013 from the International Space Station. This was the first observation in which the entire image of the structure was captured from space, and its spatial scale size was determined to be 1200 km radius without assumptions. The apparent horizontal wavelength was 80 km, and the amplitude in the intensity was approximately 20% of the background intensity. The propagation velocity of the structure was derived as 125 ± 62 m/s and atmospheric gravity waves were estimated to be generated for 3.5 ± 1.7 h. Concentric structures observed in this event were interpreted to be generated by super cells that caused a tornado in its early phase. Key Points The first entire concentric airglow image from the spaceMeasurement of the spatial scale without assumptionPropagation speed of the concentric structure was derived

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6943-6948
Number of pages6
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 16


  • airglow
  • concentric structure
  • oxygen molecular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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