Invited Review

Diagnostic Functions of Solar Coronal Magnetic Fields from Radio Observations

Baolin Tan


In solar physics, it is a big challenge to measure the magnetic fields directly from observations in the upper solar atmosphere, including the chromosphere and corona. Radio observations are regarded as the most feasible approach to diagnose the magnetic field in solar chromosphere and corona. However, because of the complexity and diversity of the emission mechanisms, the previous studies have only presented the implicit diagnostic functions of the magnetic field for specific mechanism from solar radio observations. This work collected and sorted out all methods for diagnosing coronal magnetic field from solar radio observations, which are expressed as a set of explicit diagnostic functions. In particular, this work supplemented some important diagnostic methods missed in other reviews. This set of diagnostic functions can completely cover all regions of the solar chromosphere and corona, including the quiet region, active region and flaring source regions. At the same time, it also includes incoherent radiation such as bremsstrahlung emission of thermal plasma above the quiet region, cyclotron and gyro-synchrotron emissions of magnetized hot plasma and mildly relativistic nonthermal electrons above the active regions, as well as coherently plasma emission around flaring source regions. Using this set of diagnostic functions and the related broadband spectral solar radio imaging observations, we can derive the magnetic fields of almost all regions in the solar atmosphere, which may help us to make full use of the spectral imaging observations of the new generation solar radio telescopes (such as MUSER, EVOSA and the future FASR, etc.) to study the solar activities, and provide a reliable basis for the prediction of disastrous space weather events.


Sun: magnetic fields – Sun: radio radiation – Sun: atmosphere

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