THIS communication reports the experimental observation of optical Raman scattering from oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere using a pulsed nitrogen ultraviolet laser1,2 as a light source. Previous atmospheric laser scattering experiments have been reported3,4 which utilized Rayleigh scattering or scattering from particulate matter such as aerosols and dust particles. With Raman scattering, the wavelength of the scattered light is shifted, the amount of the shift being specific to the scattering molecule. The importance of the Raman scattering technique is that it enables a range resolved measurement of atmospheric constituents, with respect to both species and concentration, from a single remote location. This type of measurement could be useful in such fields as meteorology, atmospheric physics and air pollution control.