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ISSN : 2093-5587(Print)
ISSN : 2093-1409(Online)
Journal of Astronomy and Space Sciences Vol.34 No.2 pp.119-125

Mesospheric Temperatures over Apache Point Observatory (32°N, 105°W) Derived from Sloan Digital Sky Survey Spectra

Gawon Kim, Yong Ha Kim, Young Sun Lee


We retrieved rotational temperatures from emission lines of the OH airglow (8-3) band in the sky spectra of the Sloan digital sky survey (SDSS) for the period 2000-2014, as part of the astronomical observation project conducted at the Apache Point observatory (32°N, 105°W). The SDSS temperatures show a typical seasonal variation of mesospheric temperature: low in summer and high in winter. We find that the temperatures respond to solar activity by as much as 1.2 K ±0.8 K per 100 solar flux units, which is consistent with other studies in mid-latitude regions. After the seasonal variation and solar response were subtracted, the SDSS temperature is fairly constant over the 15 year period, unlike cooling trends suggested by some studies. This temperature analysis using SDSS spectra is a unique contribution to the global monitoring of climate change because the SDSS project was established for astronomical purposes and is independent from climate studies. The SDSS temperatures are also compared with mesospheric temperatures measured by the microwave limb sounder (MLS) instrument on board the Aura satellite and the differences are discussed.