Rotational temperatures derived from the OH(8–3) band may vary by ~18K depending on the choice of transition probabilities. This is of concern when absolute temperatures or trends determined in combination with measurements of other hydroxyl bands are important. In this paper, measurements of the OH(8–3) temperature-insensitive Q/P and R/P line intensity ratios are used to select the most appropriate transition probabilities for use with this band. Aurora, airglow and solar and telluric absorption in the OH(8–3) band are also investigated. Water vapour absorption of P1(4), airglow or auroral contamination of P1(2) and solar absorption in the vicinity of P1(5) are concerns to be considered when deriving rotational temperatures from this band.
A comparison is made of temperatures derived from OH(6–2) and OH(8–3) spectra collected alternately at Davis (69° S, 78° E) in 1990. An average difference of ~4K is found, with OH(8–3) temperatures being warmer, but a difference of this magnitude is within the two sigma uncertainty limit of the measurements.