Using the 630.0-nm nightglow emission as a surrogate for the ionospheric Pedersen conductivity

Jonathan J. Makela, Michael C. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop a technique to create two-dimensional maps of the field line integrated, F-layer Pedersen conductivity from images of the 630.0-nm emission at midlatitudes. By modeling the 630.0-nm and the height-integrated Pedersen conductivity, we show that the former can be used as a surrogate for the latter to within 0.2 mhos if information on the height of the F-layer is known. A simple thin-shell model is used to convert the heightintegrated conductivity to field line integrated conductivity, a more useful parameter in the study of midlatitude ionospheric dynamics. Two nights are studied using this technique, one with a gradient in electron density seen to the south and one with severe depletions. In the latter case, bands of alternating low and high field line integrated Pedersen conductivity are seen to align from the northwest to southeast, just as predicted by Perkins [1973].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1253
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue numberA6
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • 630.0 nm
  • Airglow imaging
  • Pedersen conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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