Solar Radius at Subterahertz Frequencies and its Relation to Solar Activity

19 Dec 2017  ·  Menezes Fabian, Valio Adriana ·

The Sun emits radiation at several wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. In the optical band, the solar radius is 695,700 km and this is what defines the photosphere, the visible surface of the Sun... However, as the altitude increases, the electromagnetic radiation is produced at other frequencies, causing the solar radius to change as function of wavelength. These measurements enable a better understanding of the solar atmosphere and the radius dependence on the solar cycle is a good indicator of the changes that occur in the atmospheric structure. We measure the solar radius at the subterahertz frequencies of 0.212 and 0.405 THz -- i.e., the altitude where these emissions are primarily generated -- and also analyse the radius variation over the 11-year solar activity cycle. For this, we used radio maps of the solar disk for the period between 1999 and 2017, reconstructed from daily scans made by the Solar Submillimeter-wave Telescope (SST), installed at El Leoncito Astronomical Complex (CASLEO) in the Argentinean Andes. Our measurements yield radii of 966.5" $\pm$ 2.8" for 0.2 THz and 966.5" $\pm$ 2.7" for 0.4 THz. This implies a height of $(5.0 \pm 2.0 \times 10^6)$ m above the photosphere. Furthermore, we also observed strong anti-correlation between the radius variation and the solar activity at both frequencies. read more

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics