New Results in Mesospheric Aeronomy Studies: a Review
Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Recent highlights from the aeronomy of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere regions illustrate the range of interesting phenomena that exist at the edge of space. A particular example is the mesosphere inversion layer that has been observed since 1976 and still, its origin remains not particularly well understood. Another example is the development of atmospheric instability layers that contribute to the formation of turbulent structures. A third is the interaction of gravity waves with tidal waves that support the development of tidal bores and wave ducting. Rayleigh and resonance lidar measurements have provided key measurements that have contributed to the progress made in understanding these phenomena. Of equal importance have been the results from TMA chemical release measurements that have revealed the persistence of high speed winds in the 110 to 120 km region that cannot be explained by tidal or gravity wave activity.