Longitudinally asymmetric transport of nitric oxide in the E-region

T. E. Cravens, T. L. Killeen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rocket and satellite studies have demonstrated that nitric oxide (NO) in the thermosphere is almost always more abundant at higher than at lower latitudes. The ultraviolet nitric oxide spectrometer (UVNO) on the Atmosphere Explorer C (AE-C) spacecraft observed longitudinal asymmetries in thermospheric NO with greater abundances existing in the longitudinal sector associated with the magnetic poles of both hemispheres. This asymmetry persists even in geomagnetic coordinates. In this paper, we suggest an explanation for the longitudinal asymmetry, using neutral parcel trajectories calculated from the NCAR thermospheric general circulation model (TGCM). It is evident from a study of these calculated trajectories that certain longitudes are favored for equatorward transport out of the auroral zone in the E-region. These favored longitudes are those associated with the magnetic poles, where NO is most abundant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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