9 research outputs found

    First Image of the Sun with MeerKAT Solar Observations: Opening a New Frontier in Solar Physics

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    Solar radio emissions provide several unique diagnostics to estimate different physical parameters of the solar corona, which are otherwise simply inaccessible. However, imaging the highly dynamic solar coronal emissions spanning a large range of angular scales at radio wavelengths is extremely challenging. At GHz frequencies, the MeerKAT radio telescope is possibly globally the best-suited instrument at the present time and can provide high-fidelity spectroscopic snapshot solar images. Here, we present the first images of the Sun made using the observations with the MeerKAT at L-band (856 -- 1711 MHz). This work demonstrates the high fidelity of the MeerKAT solar images through a comparison with simulated radio images at the MeerKAT frequencies. The observed images show extremely good mophological similarities with the simulated images. A detailed comparison between the simulated radio map and observed MeerKAT radio images demonstrates that there is significant missing flux density in MeerKAT images at the higher frequencies of the observing band, though it can potentially be estimated and corrected for. We believe once solar observations with the MeerKAT are commissioned, they will not only enable a host of novel studies but also open the door to a large unexplored phase space with significant discovery potential.Comment: Preparing for submission, 14 pages, 9 figure

    Measuring femoral lesions despite CT metal artefacts: a cadaveric study

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    Objective Computed tomography is the modality of choice for measuring osteolysis but suffers from metal-induced artefacts obscuring periprosthetic tissues. Previous papers on metal artefact reduction (MAR) show qualitative improvements, but their algorithms have not found acceptance for clinical applications. We investigated to what extent metal artefacts interfere with the segmentation of lesions adjacent to a metal femoral implant and whether metal artefact reduction improves the manual segmentation of such lesions. Materials and methods We manually created 27 periprosthetic lesions in 10 human cadaver femora. We filled the lesions with a fibrotic interface tissue substitute. Each femur was fitted with a polished tapered cobalt-chrome prosthesis and imaged twice—once with the metal, and once with a substitute resin prosthesis inserted. Metalaffected CTs were processed using standard back-projection as well as projection interpolation (PI) MAR. Two experienced users segmented all lesions and compared segmentation accuracy. Results We achieved accurate delineation of periprosthetic lesions in the metal-free images. The presence of a metal implant led us to underestimate lesion volume and introduced geometrical errors in segmentation boundaries.MediamaticsElectrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Scienc

    Oscillatory Reconnection as a Plasma Diagnostic in the Solar Corona

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    Oscillatory reconnection is a relaxation process in magnetized plasma, with an inherent periodicity that is exclusively dependent on the properties of the background plasma. This study focuses on the seismological prospects of oscillatory reconnection in the solar corona. We perform three sets of parameter studies (for characteristic coronal values of the background magnetic field, density, and temperature) using the PLUTO code to solve the fully compressive, resistive MHD equations for a 2D magnetic X-point. From each parameter study, we derive the period of the oscillatory reconnection. We find that this period is inversely proportional to the characteristic strength of the background magnetic field and the square root of the initial plasma temperature, while following a square root dependency upon the equilibrium plasma density. These results reveal an inverse proportionality between the magnitude of the Alfvén speed and the period, as well as the background speed of sound and the period. Furthermore, we note that the addition of anisotropic thermal conduction only leads to a small increase in the mean value for the period. Finally, we establish an empirical formula that gives the value for the period in relation to the background magnetic field, density, and temperature. This gives us a quantified relation for oscillatory reconnection, to be used as a plasma diagnostic in the solar corona, opening up the possibility of using oscillatory reconnection for coronal seismology

    Coronal Kink Instability With Parallel Thermal Conduction

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    Thermal conduction along magnetic field lines plays an important role in the evolution of the kink instability in coronal loops. In the nonlinear phase of the instability, local heating occurs due to reconnection, so that the plasma reaches high temperatures. To study the effect of parallel thermal conduction in this process, the 3D nonlinear magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations are solved for an initially unstable equilibrium. The initial state is a cylindrical loop with zero net current. Parallel thermal conduction reduces the local temperature, which leads to temperatures that are an order of magnitude lower than those obtained without thermal conduction. This process is important on the timescale of fast MHD phenomena; it reduces the kinetic energy released by an order of magnitude. The impact of this process on observational signatures is presented. Synthetic observables are generated that include spatial and temporal averaging to account for the resolution and exposure times of TRACE images. It was found that the inclusion of parallel thermal conductivity does not have as large an impact on observables as the order of magnitude reduction in the maximum temperature would suggest. The reason is that response functions sample a broad range of temperatures, so that the net effect of parallel thermal conduction is a blurring of internal features of the loop structure

    3D WKB solution for fast magnetoacoustic wave behaviour within a separatrix dome containing a coronal null point

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    The propagation of the fast magnetoacoustic wave is studied within a magnetic topology containing a 3D coronal null point whose fan field lines form a dome. The topology is constructed from a magnetic dipole embedded within a global uniform field. This study aims to improve the understanding of how magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) waves propagate through inhomogeneous media, specifically in a medium containing an isolated 3D magnetic null point. We consider the linearized MHD equations for an inhomogeneous, ideal, cold plasma. The equations are solved utilizing the WKB approximation and Charpit’s Method. We find that for a planar fast wave generated below the null point, the resultant propagation is strongly dependent upon initial location and that there are two main behaviours: the majority of the wave escapes the null (experiencing different severities of refraction depending upon the interplay with the equilibrium Alfven-speed profile) or, alternatively, part of the wave is captured by the coronal null point (for elements generated within a specific critical radius about the spine and on the z = 0 plane). We also generalize the magnetic topology and find that the height of the null determines the amount of wave that is captured. We conclude that for a wavefront generated below the null point, nulls at a greater height can trap proportionally less of the corresponding wave energy

    A chromospheric resonance cavity in a sunspot mapped with seismology

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    Sunspots are intense collections of magnetic fields that pierce through the Sun’s photosphere, with their signatures extending upwards into the outermost extremities of the solar corona1. Cutting-edge observations and simulations are providing insights into the underlying wave generation2, configuration3,4 and damping5 mechanisms found in sunspot atmospheres. However, the in situ amplification of magnetohydrodynamic waves6, rising from a few hundreds of metres per second in the photosphere to several kilometres per second in the chromosphere7, has, until now, proved difficult to explain. Theory predicts that the enhanced umbral wave power found at chromospheric heights may come from the existence of an acoustic resonator8,9,10, which is created due to the substantial temperature gradients experienced at photospheric and transition region heights11. Here, we provide strong observational evidence of a resonance cavity existing above a highly magnetic sunspot. Through a combination of spectropolarimetric inversions and comparisons with high-resolution numerical simulations, we provide a new seismological approach to mapping the geometry of the inherent temperature stratifications across the diameter of the underlying sunspot, with the upper boundaries of the chromosphere ranging between 1,300 ± 200 km and 2,300 ± 250 km. Our findings will allow the three-dimensional structure of solar active regions to be conclusively determined from relatively commonplace two-dimensional Fourier power spectra. The techniques presented are also readily suitable for investigating temperature-dependent resonance effects in other areas of astrophysics, including the examination of Earth–ionosphere wave cavities12

    Citation: A comparison of theoretical line intensity ratios for Ni XII with extreme ultraviolet observations from the JET tokamak

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    Abstract Recent R-matrix calculations of electron impact excitation rates in Ni XII are used to derive the emission line ratios R 1 = I (154.17 Å)/I (152.15 Å), R 2 = I (152.95 Å)/I (152.15 Å) and R 3 = I (160.55 Å)/I (152.15 Å). This is the first time (to our knowledge) that theoretical emission line ratios have been calculated for this ion. The ratios are found to be insensitive to changes in the adopted electron density (N e ) when N e 5 × 10 11 cm −3 , typical of laboratory plasmas. However, they do vary with electron temperature (T e ), with for example R 1 and R 3 changing by factors of 1.3 and 1.8, respectively, between T e = 10 5 and 10 6 K. A comparison of the theoretical line ratios with measurements from the Joint European Torus (JET) tokamak reveals very good agreement between theory and observation for R 1 , with an average discrepancy of only 7%. Agreement between the calculated and experimental ratios for R 2 and R 3 is less satisfactory, with average differences of 30 and 33%, respectively. These probably arise from errors in the JET instrument calibration curve. However, the discrepancies are smaller than the uncertainties in the R 2 and R 3 measurements. Our results, in particular for R 1 , provide experimental support for the accuracy of the Ni XII line ratio calculations, and hence for the atomic data adopted in their derivation