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The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:00-16:00 Wed 19 Oct 2011

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre

Xiaopeng You

(Southwest University)

Measurement of the electron density and magnetic field of the solar wind using millisecond pulsars - Xiaopeng You Colloquium

The magnetic field of the solar wind near the Sun is very difficult to
measure directly. It has been recognized that measurements of Faraday
rotation of linearly polarized radio sources occult ed by the solar
wind provide a unique opportunity to estimate the magnetic field.
However Faraday rotation is a path integral of the product of electron
density and the projection of the magnetic field on the path. The
electron density can be measured by several methods, but it is quite
variable so it is important to have simultaneous estimates of both the
electron density and the Faraday rotation. Here we show that it is
possible to measure both using the millisecond pulsars J1022+1001
and J1730-2304, which has an ecliptic latitude of -0.06 and 0.19 degrees. We use these measurements comparing our model of
solar wind to obtain reliable estimates of the magnetic field in the
quiet solar wind at a distance of 6-10 solar radii.

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Ryan Shannon

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