Microwave and extreme ultraviolet observations of solar polar regions

A. Nindos, M. R. Kundu, S. M. White, Dale Gary, K. Shibasaki, K. P. Dere

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The poles of the Sun are brighter than the rest of the quiet Sun's emission in a limited range of radio frequencies from 17 GHz to 87 GHz. We have studied microwave images of the quiet Sun made with the Nobeyama radioheliograph at 17 GHz. They show that the so-called polar-cap brightening consists of two components: a diffuse component of 1500 K excess brightness and patchy compact sources with localized excess brightness of about 3500 K. We test the reality of the compact sources using the maximum entropy method deconvolution. The total flux and the number of compact polar sources as well as the north-south extent of the diffuse polar emission are larger in the pole that is closest to the Earth. We compared the microwave polar emission with nearly simultaneous SOHO EIT images taken in the lines of He II at 304 Å and Fe XII at 195 A. No one-to-one correlation between the compact radio sources and the bright EUV features was found: most of the radio emission arises between the plumes visible to EIT. The boundaries of the polar-cap brightenings did not match exactly the boundaries of the coronal holes as seen in either the Fe XII 195 Å images or the He II 304 Å images. The temporal variations of the compact microwave sources did not correspond to any significant changes in EUV emission. On the other hand, most He II 304 Å changing features were associated with the diffuse polar microwave emission, which was practically constant. Our data suggest that the origin of the polar brightening is not coronal; it seems that the bulk of the patchy radio emission comes from heights below the 80,000 K layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-425
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Dec 10 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: UV radiation
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: radio radiation


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