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Associative electron detachment in sprites
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  • Alejandro Malagón-Romero,
  • Alejandro Luque,
  • Nicholas S. Shuman,
  • Thomas M. Miller,
  • Shaun G. Ard,
  • Albert A. Viggiano
Alejandro Malagón-Romero
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Alejandro Luque
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)
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Nicholas S. Shuman
Air Force Research Laboratory
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Thomas M. Miller
Boston College Institute for Scientific Research
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Shaun G. Ard
Air Force Research Laboratory
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Albert A. Viggiano
Air Force Research Laboratory
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The balance of processes affecting electron density drives the dynamics of upper-atmospheric electrical events, such as sprites. We examine the detachment of electrons from negatively charged atomic oxygen (O-) via collisions with neutral molecular nitrogen (N2) leading to the formation of nitrous oxide (N2O). Past research posited that this process, even without significant vibrational excitation of N2, strongly impacts the dynamics of sprites. We introduce updated rate coefficients derived from recent experimental measurements which suggest a negligible influence of this reaction on sprite dynamics. Given that previous rates were incompatible with the observed persistence times of luminous features in sprites, our findings support that these features result from electron depletion in sprite columns.
27 Dec 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
15 Jan 2024Published in ESS Open Archive