Letter | Published:

Excitation of the Green Auroral Line

Nature volume 128, page 304 (22 August 1931) | Download Citation



THIS note will be of special interest when compared with my paper on the light of the night sky, published in a recent number of the Physical Review, and with my report before the Pasadena meeting of the American Physical Society, in which I reported the first effectively complete reproduction of the aurora spectrum. On many of the spectra which were photographed during the progress of the above-mentioned experiments, it was thought that there were definite, though weak, indications of the presence of the green auroral line. The failure of the green line to appear with considerable intensity in these experiments was never considered to be serious, since there was ample evidence for the occurrence of collisions between excited nitrogen molecules and metastable oxygen atoms in the states which are involved in the emission of the green line. Since the state on which the green line originates is metastable, it is not at all surprising that the line was either absent or missing in these experiments.

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  1. University of California at Los Angeles, July 18.



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