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Solar Physics

, 294:7 | Cite as

On the Relative Brightness of Coronal Holes at Low Frequencies

  • M. M. RahmanEmail author
  • Patrick I. McCauleyEmail author
  • Iver H. CairnsEmail author
Article

Abstract

We present low-frequency (80 – 240 MHz) radio observations of coronal holes (CHs) made with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). CHs are expected to be dark structures relative to the background corona across the MWA bandwidth due to their low densities. However, we observe that multiple CHs near disk center transition from being dark structures at higher frequencies to bright structures at lower frequencies (\({\lesssim} \, 145~\mbox{MHz}\)). We compare our observations to synthetic images obtained using the software suite FORWARD, in combination with the magnetohydrodynamic algorithm outside a sphere (MAS) model of the global coronal magnetic field, density, and temperature structure. The synthetic images do not exhibit this transition, and we quantify the discrepancy as a function of frequency. We propose that the dark-to-bright transition results from refraction of radio waves into the low-density CH regions, and we develop a qualitative model based on this idea and the relative optical depths inside and outside a CH as a function of frequency. We show that opacity estimates based on the MAS model are qualitatively consistent with our interpretation, and we conclude that propagation and relative absorption effects are a viable explanation for the dark-to-bright transition of CHs from high to low frequencies.

Keywords

Corona, quiet Corona, radio emission Coronal holes 

Notes

Acknowledgements

M.M. Rahman thanks the University of Sydney for supporting this work through USydIS Postgraduate Scholarship and expresses gratitude to Dr. Samira Tasnim for giving fruitful instruction about optical depth calculation. We are grateful to the Solar Heliospheric and Ionospheric (SHI) group of the MWA collaboration, and the MWA and AIA science teams for advice, support, and supplying open access to data and software. We used NASA’s Astrophysics Data System (ADS) for this research work. The anonymous referee is gratefully acknowledged.

Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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