Volume 645, January 2021
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||21 December 2020|
LOFAR observations of radio burst source sizes and scattering in the solar corona
School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
2 Astronomy & Astrophysics Section, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin D02 XF86, Ireland
3 ASTRON, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
Accepted: 19 November 2020
Low frequency radio wave scattering and refraction can have a dramatic effect on the observed size and position of radio sources in the solar corona. The scattering and refraction is thought to be due to fluctuations in electron density caused by turbulence. Hence, determining the true radio source size can provide information on the turbulence in coronal plasma. However, the lack of high spatial resolution radio interferometric observations at low frequencies, such as with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR), has made it difficult to determine the true radio source size and level of radio wave scattering. Here we directly fit the visibilities of a LOFAR observation of a Type IIIb radio burst with an elliptical Gaussian to determine its source size and position. This circumvents the need to image the source and then de-convolve LOFAR’s point spread function, which can introduce spurious effects to the source size and shape. For a burst at 34.76 MHz, we find full width at half maximum (FWHM) heights along the major and minor axes to be 18.8′ ± 0.1′ and 10.2′ ± 0.1′, respectively, at a plane of sky heliocentric distance of 1.75 R⊙. Our results suggest that the level of density fluctuations in the solar corona is the main cause of the scattering of radio waves, resulting in large source sizes. However, the magnitude of ε may be smaller than what has been previously derived in observations of radio wave scattering in tied-array images.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: radio radiation / scattering
© ESO 2020
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.