A strong coronal magnetic field, when present, manifests itself as bright microwave sources at high frequencies produced by the gyroresonant (GR) emission mechanism in thermal coronal plasma. The highest frequency at which this emission is observed is proportional to the absolute value of the strongest coronal magnetic field on the line of sight. Although no coronal magnetic field larger than roughly 2000 G has been expected, recently a field at least 2 times larger has been reported. Here, we report on a search for and a statistical study of such strong coronal magnetic fields using high-frequency GR emission. A historic record of spatially resolved microwave observations at high frequencies, 17 and 34 GHz, is available from the Nobeyama RadioHeliograph for a period covering more than 20 yr (1995-2018). Here, we employ this data set to identify sources of bright GR emission at 34 GHz and perform a statistical analysis of the identified GR cases to quantify the strongest coronal magnetic fields during two solar cycles. We found that although active regions with a strong magnetic field are relatively rare (less than 1% of all active regions), they appear regularly on the Sun. These active regions are associated with prominent manifestations of solar activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science