Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Solar radio flux

Emission from the Sun at centimetric (radio) wavelength is due primarily to coronal plasma trapped in the magnetic fields overlying active regions.[15] The F10.7 index is a measure of the solar radio flux per unit frequency at a wavelength of 10.7 cm, near the peak of the observed solar radio emission. It represents a measure of diffuse, nonradiative heating of the coronal plasma trapped by magnetic fields over active regions, and is an excellent indicator of overall solar activity levels. The solar F10.7 cm record extends back to 1947, and is the longest direct record of solar activity available, other than sunspot-related quantities. Sunspot activity has a major effect on long distance radio communications particularly on the shortwave bands although medium wave and low VHF frequencies are also affected. High levels of sunspot activity lead to improved signal propagation on higher frequency bands, although they also increase the levels of solar noise and ionospheric disturbances. These effects are caused by impact of the increased level of solar radiation on the ionosphere. It has been proposed that 10.7 cm solar flux can interfere with point-to-point terrestrial communications.[16]

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