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Auroral and Nighttime Polar Imagery


Availability: At NSSDC, Ready for Offline Distribution (or Staging if Digital)

Time span: 1972-06-16 to 1979-09-30


This collection, originally archived on microfilm, contains nighttime auroral images of the Earth's polar regions obtained by various DMSP spacecraft. The film was originally processed by the U.S. Air Force Global Weather Center from data telemetered from the satellite sensors.

The data are chronologically organized on each roll of microfilm without regard to which spacecraft obtained the data. The data were corrected for altitude and roll variations but were not corrected for small pitch and yaw variations. The data frame width is approximately 3000 km. Data are not gridded, but can be gridded by the user with ephemeris information and coordinate grids that accompany the data.

Although some of the images contain a significant amount of daylit polar region, the images were selected for their auroral imagery. As a result, only a relatively small number of select images are useful for polar cap studies.

Alternate Names

  • Auroral Imagery on Microfilm


  • Earth Science: Atmospheric Dynamics
  • Space Physics: Ionospheric Studies
  • Earth Science: Land Topography


  • 72-018A-01A
  • 72-018A-01B
  • 72-089A-01A
  • 72-089A-01B
  • 73-054A-01A
  • 73-054A-01B
  • 74-015A-01A
  • 74-015A-01B
  • 74-063A-01A
  • 74-063A-01B
  • 75-043A-01A
  • 75-043A-01B
  • 76-091A-01A
  • 77-044A-01A
  • 78-042A-01A
  • 79-050A-01A

Additional Information



Questions and comments about this data collection can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Lcol A. Lee SnyderGeneral ContactGlobal Weather Center

Selected References

  • Dickinson, L. G., et al., Defense Meteorological Satellite Program user's guide, USAF, Air Weather Serv., AWS-TR-74-250, Scott AFB, IL, Dec. 1974.
  • Notes on the use of the DAPP satellite auroral images, NOAA, Natl. Geophys. and Solar-Terr. Data Cent., Unnumbered, Boulder, CO, Undated.
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