air·​glow ˈer-ˌglō How to pronounce airglow (audio)
: light that is observed especially during the night, that originates in the high atmosphere of a planet (such as the earth), and that is associated with photochemical reactions of gases caused by solar radiation

Examples of airglow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is, in fact, a phenomenon known as airglow. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 24 Dec. 2019 Alex took the original astronaut pictures and enhanced them somewhat to bring out the faint airglow. Phil Plait, Discover Magazine, 11 June 2012 There is also a glowing halo of oxygen in the planet's atmosphere called airglow, a type of light that also exists in Earth's atmosphere. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 10 Feb. 2022 While the clouds and airglow features changed, the swoosh remained. Steven D. Miller, The Conversation, 26 Aug. 2021 In order for those faint galaxies to stand out from the sky’s airglow, astronomers already needed long exposures on the biggest telescopes in the darkest sites available. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, 28 Mar. 2021 Atmospheric airglow, and red and green aurorae from atomic oxygen. Lee Billings, Scientific American, 20 Dec. 2016 As Danny Lewis reported for Smithsonian magazine in 2016, scientists estimate that airglow is about one billion times fainter than sunlight. Nora McGreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 June 2020 By studying Mars’ airglow, scientists hope to learn more about its atmosphere. Nora McGreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 June 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'airglow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1949, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of airglow was in 1949

Dictionary Entries Near airglow

Cite this Entry

“Airglow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on airglow

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!