Microwave emission from a sunspot - I. Implications for the sunspot magnetic structure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


From the gyroresonance brightness temperature spectrum of a sunspot, one can determine the magnetic field strength by using the property that microwave brightness is limited above a frequency given by an integer-multiple of the gyrofrequency. In this paper, we use this idea to find the radial distribution of magnetic field at the coronal base of a sunspot in the active region, NOAA 4741. The gyroresonance brightness temperature spectra of this sunspot are obtained from multi-frequency interferometric observations made at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory at 24 frequencies in the range of 4.0-12.4 GHz with spatial resolution 2.2″-6.8″. The main results of present study are summarized as follows: first, by comparison of the coronal magnetic flux deduced from our microwave observation with the photospheric magnetic flux measured by KPNO magnetograms, we show that the o-mode emission must arise predominantly from the second harmonic of the gyrofrequency, while the x-mode arises from the third harmonic. Second, the radial distribution of magnetic fields B(r) at the coronal base of this spot (say, 2000-4000 km above the photosphere) can be adequately fitted by {Mathematical expression} where r is the radial distance from the spot center at coronal base. Third, it is found that coronal magnetic fields originate mostly from the photospheric umbral region. Fourth, although the derived vertical variation of magnetic fields can be approximated roughly by a dipole model with dipole moment 1.6 × 1030 erg G-1 buried at 11000 km below the photosphere, the radial field distribution at coronal heights is found to be more confined than predicted by the dipole model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Microwave emission from a sunspot - I. Implications for the sunspot magnetic structure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this