Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Coronal Magnetism: Difficulties and Prospects


Prospects for advances in understanding the properties of the coronal magnetic field are discussed. A new generation of ground-based instrumentation presents possibilities of improved direct measurements of the field (the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope: ATST) and its inference from radio observations (the Frequency Agile Solar Radiotelescope: FASR). The latter in particular promises major advances in determining the structure of the strong magnetic fields present in active regions. Interpreting observations of coronal oscillations using MHD wave models to infer a magnetic field strength has become popular. While limb observations yield field strengths compatible with those obtained from infrared spectroscopy, disc observations yield values that seem on the low side, suggesting the need for a programme of forward modelling with realistic global magnetic fields. Global magnetic field models can now provide information on the field in the corona, and towards the Earth through the solar wind. Major challenges for such modelling are the incorporation of small-scale plasma effects.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. T. Amari, T.Z. Boulmezaoud, Z. Mikic, Astron. Astrophys. 350, 1051 (1999)

  2. T.S. Bastian, in Solar and Space Weather Radiophysics, ed. by D.E. Gary, C.U. Keller (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2004), p. 47

  3. D. Billings, A Guide to the Solar Corona (Academic Press, New York, 1966)

  4. P.J. Cargill, J. Chen, D.S. Spicer, S.T. Zalesak, J. Geophys. Res. 101, 4855 (1996)

  5. G.A. Doschek et al., Astrophys. J. 667, L109 (2007)

  6. P.M. Edwin, B. Roberts, Sol. Phys. 88, 179 (1983)

  7. P. Judge, R. Casini, S. Tomczyk, D.P. Edwards, E. Francis, NCAR/TN-466-STR, 2001

  8. M. Kramer, B. Inhester, S. Solanki, Astron. Astrophys. 456, 665 (2006)

  9. L. Landau, E.M. Lifshitz, Quantum Mechanics (Non-Relativistic Theory) (Pergamon, Elmsford, 1988)

  10. J. Lee, S.M. White, N. Gopalswamy, M.R. Kundu, Sol. Phys. 174, 175 (1997)

  11. H. Lin, M. Penn, S. Tomczyk, Astrophys. J. 541, L83 (2000)

  12. H. Lin, J.R. Kuhn, R. Coulter, Astrophys. J. 613, L177 (2004)

  13. B.W. Lites, B.C. Low, V. Martinez Pillet, P. Seagraves, A. Skumanich, Z.A. Frank, R.A. Shine, S. Tsuneta, Astrophys. J. 446, 877 (1995)

  14. M.C. Lopez Fuentes, J.A. Klimchuk, P. Demoulin, Astrophys. J. 639, 459 (2006)

  15. B.C. Low, Sol. Phys. 167, 217 (1996)

  16. D.B. Melrose, in Solar Radiophysics, ed. by D.J. McLean, N.R. Labrum (CUP, 1985). Chap. 9

  17. T.R. Metcalf et al., Sol. Phys. 247, 269 (2008)

  18. J.A. Miller, P.J. Cargill et al., J. Geophys. Res. 102, 14632 (1997)

  19. V.M. Nakariakov, E. Verwichte, Living Rev. Sol. Phys. 2005(3) (2005)

  20. V.M. Nakariakov, L. Ofman, E.E. DeLuca, B. Roberts, J.M. Davila, Science 285, 862 (1999)

  21. D. Odstrcil et al., J. Geophys. Res. 107 (2002). doi:10.1029/2002JA009334

  22. E.R. Priest, T.G. Forbes, Magnetic Reconnection (CUP, 2000)

  23. N.-E. Raouafi, S.K. Solanki, T. Wiegelmann, arXiv:0801.2202v1 (2008)

  24. P. Riley, J.A. Linker, Z. Mikić, R. Lionello, S.A. Ledvina, J.G. Luhmann, Astrophys. J. 653, 1510 (2006)

  25. T. Rimmele et al., Adv. Space Res. 42(1), 78 (2008)

  26. B. Roberts, in IAU Symp. 247 (2008)

  27. P. Scherrer et al., Sol. Phys. 162, 129 (1995)

  28. C.J. Schrijver et al., Sol. Phys. 235, 161 (2006)

  29. S. Tomczyk, S.W. McIntosh, S.L. Keil, P.G. Judge, T. Schad, D.H. Seeley, J. Edmondson, Science 317, 1192 (2007)

  30. J. Trujillo-Bueno, A. Asensio-Ramos, Astrophys. J. 655, 642 (2007)

  31. S. Tsuneta et al., Sol. Phys. 249, 195 (2008)

  32. Y. Uchida, Sol. Phys. 4, 30 (1968)

  33. T. Van Doorsselaere, V.M. Nakariakov, E. Verwichte, Astrophys. J. 676, L73 (2008)

  34. E. Verwichte, V.M. Nakariakov, L. Ofman, E.E. Deluca, Sol. Phys. 223, 77 (2004)

  35. S.M. White, in Solar and Space Weather Radiophysics, ed. by D.E. Gary, C.U. Keller (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2004), p. 89

  36. H. Zirin, Astrophysics of the Sun (CUP, 1988)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Peter J. Cargill.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cargill, P.J. Coronal Magnetism: Difficulties and Prospects. Space Sci Rev 144, 413–421 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-008-9446-9

Download citation


  • Sun corona magnetic fields