TitleLyman α airglow emission: Implications for atomic hydrogen geocorona variability with solar cycle
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWaldrop, L, Paxton, LJ
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Pagination5874 - 5890
Date PublishedJan-09-2013
Keywordsatmospheric escape; hydrogen geocorona; radiative transport

Satellite-based measurements of geocoronal Lyman α (Lyα) emission at 121.6 nm, created through multiple scattering of solar Lyαphotons by atomic hydrogen, offer a valuable means of inferring the hydrogen abundance, [H], in the terrestrial thermosphere and exosphere on a global, long-term basis. We present initial results from an analysis of Lyα radiance measurements acquired across the Earth's limb from 2002 to 2007 by the Global UltraViolet Imager (GUVI) onboard the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) spacecraft. This data spans nearly half of a solar cycle, and both the absolute Lyα radiance as well as its relative variation across the limb are shown to exhibit a significant dependence on solar activity. We describe sensitivities of a forward radiative transport (RT) model to key parameters governing the [H] distribution in order to assess implications for [H] estimation from the GUVI limb scan data throughout the solar cycle. Based on data-model comparisons, we conclude that the observed solar cycle variability is indicative of a decrease in dayside H density at the exobase with increasing solar activity. These results, along with additional forward RT modeling based on NRLMSISE-00 model specification of [H], are also used to assess contemporary semiempirical model accuracy.

Short TitleJ. Geophys. Res. Space Physics

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