Letter | Published:

Observing interplanetary disturbances from the ground

Nature volume 296, pages 633636 (15 April 1982) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The scintillation of celestial radio sources due to small-scale turbulence along lines of sight through the interplanetary medium provides a convenient, ground-based method of monitoring disturbances in interplanetary space. With the sensitive 3.6-hectare Array at Cambridge we have carried out a new programme in which 900 sources were observed each day for more than 1 yr. When the long-term average scintillation behaviour of each source had been accurately determined we found that transient disturbances could be clearly distinguished. We detected large clouds of enhanced turbulence moving out from the Sun and were able to track them to distances beyond the Earth's orbit. Our observations differ from recent work elsewhere1 in that we used a larger grid of sources and observed them more continuously over a wider range of solar elongations. To illustrate the information that is now being obtained we present observations for 10–21 December 1978, a period of considerable solar activity for which spacecraft and other data are also available.

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Affiliations

  1. Milliard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cavendish Laboratory, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK

    • G. R. Gapper
    • , A. Hewish
    • , A. Purvis
    •  & P. J. Duffett-Smith

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https://doi.org/10.1038/296633a0

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