Observations of an impulsive solar radio burst from three observatories are presented. The striking observational aspects of this flare are that the time profile was identical throughout at 8.6, 15, and 86 GHz, that the spectrum was apparently flat from 15 to 86 GHz, and that there was a sharp cutoff in the spectrum between 5.0 and 8.6 GHz. The simplest interpretation of the cutoff, namely as a plasma frequency effect, leads to the conclusion that there was exceptionally high-density material in the solar corona (∼ 5 × 1011 cm-3). Very Large Array images at 15 GHz show a single loop structure which brightened uniformly and showed little change in size during the whole impulsive phase. The flat spectrum is consistent with optically thin thermal bremsstrahlung emission, but the lack of observed soft X-ray emission and other properties of the flare cannot easily be accommodated by this mechanism. We also explore the possibility that the emission is optically thick due to thermal absorption of nonthermal gyrosynchrotron emission, or optically thin gyrosynchrotron emission absorbed by high-density material intervening along the line of sight. Both of these explanations also face difficulties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Radiation mechanisms: cyclotron and synchrotron
- Sun: flares
- Sun: radio radiation