Volume 386, Number 2, May I 2002
|Page(s)||658 - 673|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||15 May 2002|
Spatially resolved microwave oscillations above a sunspot*
Section of Astrogeophysics, Physics Department, University of Ioannina, Ioannina 45110, Greece
2 Main (Pulkovo) Astronomical Observatory, Russian Academy of Sciences, St.–Petersburg 196140, Russia
3 St.–Petersburg Branch of the Special Astrophysical Observatory, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pulkovo, 196140, Russia
4 Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics, Academy of Athens, 14 Anagnostopoulou Str., Athens 10673, Greece
Corresponding author: A. Nindos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 28 January 2002
Using high quality VLA observations, we detected for the first time spatially resolved oscillations in the microwave total intensity (I) and circular polarization (V) emission of a sunspot–associated gyroresonance source. Oscillations were detected at 8.5 and 5 GHz during several time intervals of our 10–hour–long dataset. The oscillations are intermittent: they start suddenly and are damped somehow more gradually. Despite their transient nature when they are observed they show significant positional, amplitude and phase stability. The spatial distribution of intensity variations is patchy and the location of the patches of strong oscillatory power is not the same at both frequencies. The strongest oscillations are associated with a small region where the 8.5 GHz emission comes from the second harmonic of the gyrofrequency while distinct peaks of weaker oscillatory power appear close to the outer boundaries of the 8.5 and 5 GHz g–r sources, where the emissions come from the third harmonic of the gyrofrequency. Overall, the 5 GHz oscillations are weaker than the 8.5 GHz oscillations (the rms amplitudes of the I oscillations are 1.3–2.5 K and 0.2–1.5 K, respectively). At both frequencies the oscillations have periods in the three–minute range: the power spectra show two prominent peaks at 6.25–6.45 mHz and 4.49–5.47 mHz. Our models show that the microwave oscillations are caused by variations of the location of the third and/or second harmonic surfaces with respect to the base of the chromosphere–corona transition region (TR), i.e. either the magnetic field strength or/and the height of the base of the TR oscillates. The best–fit model to the observed microwave oscillations can be derived from photospheric magnetic field strength oscillations with an rms amplitude of 40 G or oscillations of the height of the base of the TR with an rms amplitude of 25 km. Furthermore, small variations of the orientation of the magnetic field vector yield radio oscillations consistent with the observed oscillations.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: radio radiation / Sun: oscillations / Sun: sunspots / Sun: magnetic fields
© ESO, 2002
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