Millimeter radiation from a 3D model of the solar atmosphere
II. Chromospheric magnetic field
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077, Göttingen, Germany
2 Center For Solar-Terrestrial Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 323 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
3 Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg University, Universitetskii Pr. 28, 198504 St. Petersburg, Russia
4 Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM, USA
5 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 446-701, Korea
6 Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, PO Box 1029, Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
Received: 11 June 2016
Accepted: 8 February 2017
Aims. We use state-of-the-art, three-dimensional non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) radiative magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the quiet solar atmosphere to carry out detailed tests of chromospheric magnetic field diagnostics from free-free radiation at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths (mm/submm).
Methods. The vertical component of the magnetic field was deduced from the mm/submm brightness spectra and the degree of circular polarization synthesized at millimeter frequencies. We used the frequency bands observed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) as a convenient reference. The magnetic field maps obtained describe the longitudinal magnetic field at the effective formation heights of the relevant wavelengths in the solar chromosphere.
Results. The comparison of the deduced and model chromospheric magnetic fields at the spatial resolution of both the model and current observations demonstrates a good correlation, but has a tendency to underestimate the model field. The systematic discrepancy of about 10% is probably due to averaging of the restored field over the heights contributing to the radiation, weighted by the strength of the contribution. On the whole, the method of probing the longitudinal component of the magnetic field with free-free emission at mm/submm wavelengths is found to be applicable to measurements of the weak quiet-Sun magnetic fields. However, successful exploitation of this technique requires very accurate measurements of the polarization properties (primary beam and receiver polarization response) of the antennas, which will be the principal factor that determines the level to which chromospheric magnetic fields can be measured.
Conclusions. Consequently, high-resolution and high-precision observations of circularly polarized radiation at millimeter wavelengths can be a powerful tool for producing chromospheric longitudinal magnetograms.
Key words: Sun: atmosphere / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: radio radiation
© ESO, 2017