Volume 396, Number 2, December III 2002
|Page(s)||673 - 682|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||03 December 2002|
Band-splitting of coronal and interplanetary type II bursts
II. Coronal magnetic field and Alfvén velocity
Hvar Observatory, Faculty of Geodesy, Kačićeva 26, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2 INAF 8211, Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste, Via G. B. Tiepolo 11, 34131 Trieste, Italy
3 Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Corresponding author: B. Vršnak, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 20 September 2002
Type II radio bursts recorded in the metric wavelength range are excited by MHD shocks traveling through the solar corona. They often expose the fundamental and harmonic emission band, both frequently being split in two parallel lanes that show a similar frequency drift and intensity behaviour. Our previous paper showed that band-splitting of such characteristics is a consequence of the plasma emission from the upstream and downstream shock regions. Consequently, the split can be used to evaluate the density jump at the shock front and to estimate the shock Mach number, which in combination with the shock speed inferred from the frequency drift provides an estimate of the Alfvén velocity and the magnetic field in the ambient plasma. In this paper such a procedure is applied to 18 metric type II bursts with the fundamental band starting frequencies up to 270 MHz. The obtained values show a minimum of the Alfvén velocity at the heliocentric distance amounting to 400–500 km s-1. It then increases achieving a local maximum of 450–700 km s-1 at . The implications regarding the process of formation and decay of MHD shocks in the corona are discussed. The coronal magnetic field in the range decreases as R-3 to R-4, or H-1.5 to H -2 if expressed as a function of the height. The results are compared with other estimates of the coronal magnetic field in the range . Combined data show that below the magnetic field is dominated by active region fields, whereas above it becomes radial, behaving roughly as with a plausible value of nT at 1 a.u.
Key words: Sun: radio radiation / MHD / shock waves / Sun: corona
© ESO, 2002
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