22-30 July 2021
North-West University
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
More Information Coming Soon

Climatology of the nighttime thermospheric winds over Sutherland, South Africa.

Not scheduled
Potchefstroom Campus (North-West University)

Potchefstroom Campus

North-West University

Poster Presentation Track D2 - Space Science Space Science


Mr Taiwo Ojo (South Africa National Space Agency (SANSA))


We present first observation of climatology of nighttime thermospheric neutral winds between
February 2018 and January 2019 measured by a Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) located in
Sutherland, South Africa (32.2◦S, 20.48◦E; geomagnetic latitude: 40.7◦S). This FPI measures the
nighttime oxygen airglow emission at 630.0 nm, which has a peak emission at an altitude of
roughly 250 km. The annual meridional and zonal winds at this location vary between -100 and
150 m/s and show typical midlatitude nocturnal and seasonal variations. During local summer
months (December-February), the meridional wind is predominantly equatorward from dusk to
predawn. During the winter months, the meridional wind is poleward from dusk, turns equatorward
around midnight, and either remains in this direction for the rest of the night (June) or turns
poleward again after just before dawn (July and August). The zonal wind velocity is generally
eastward during the evening until just before midnight, changing westward post-midnight. The
zonal wind peaks at higher velocities during the winter months compared to the summer months.
The eastward-to-westward transition occurs later during the winter months compared to the
summer months. We compared HWM14 with the FPI measurements and found a better agreement
between FPI measured winds and HWM14 predicted winds for the meridional component
compared to the zonal component.

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Primary author

Mr Taiwo Ojo (South Africa National Space Agency (SANSA))


Dr Zama Katamzi-Joseph (South Africa National Space Agency (SANSA))

Presentation Materials