Coronal temperature, density, and magnetic field maps of a solar active region using the Owens Valley Solar Array

Dale E. Gary, G. J. Hurford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


We present the first results of solar active region observations with the recently completed five-element Owens Valley Solar Array. On 1991 October 24, maps of Active Region AR 6891 were obtained at 22 frequencies from 1.2-7.0 GHz to provide brightness temperature spectra at each point. This is the first time that both high spatial and frequency-resolution brightness temperature spectra have been available over such a broad radio-frequency range. We find that over most of the region the spectra fall into one of two well-defined categories: thermal free-free or thermal gyroresonance. In these cases, we use the spectra to deduce the spatial variation of physical parameters - electron temperature, column emission measure (∫ n2e dl), and coronal magnetic field strength - in and around the active region. Over a limited area of the region, the spectra resemble neither of the simple types, and alternative interpretations are required. The possibilities include the presence of fine structure that is unresolved at low frequencies; the presence of a small number of nonthermal electrons; or the presence of overlying, cooler (106 K) material which at low frequencies absorbs the hot (3 × 106 K) thermal emission generated below.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-912
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Sun: radio radiation


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