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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Dr Richard Wilson

Michaille, L., Clifford, J. B., Dainty, J. C., Gregory, T., Quartel, J. C., Reavell, F. C., Wilson, R. W. & Wooder, N. J. (2001). Characterization of the mesospheric sodium layer at La Palma. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 328(4): 993-1000.

Author(s) from Durham


We present the results of a mesospheric sodium monitoring programme at La Palma carried out through five campaigns of one week each, from 1999 September to 2000 August. The yearly averaged parameters of the layer (the sodium column density and the width) are given. We show that the short time-scale dynamics of the layer are governed by the sporadic layers with an average frequency of one event per night. The influence of the short time-scale dynamics of the layer on an adaptive optics system working on the William Herschel Telescope is quantified. It appears that it is a small effect in terms of defocus error. Finally, we present data obtained during the Perseid meteor shower and show that the dynamics of the sodium layer undergoes a transition with the meteoric activity.


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