The Murchison Widefield Array is a low frequency (80-300 MHz) SKA Precursor, comprising 128 aperture array elements (known as tiles) distributed over an area of 3 km diameter. The MWA is located at the extraordinarily radio quiet Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory in the mid-west of Western Australia, the selected home for the Phase 1 and Phase 2 SKA low frequency arrays. The MWA science goals include: 1) detection of fluctuations in the brightness temperature of the diffuse redshifted 21 cm line of neutral hydrogen from the epoch of reionisation; 2) studies of Galactic and extragalactic processes based on deep, confusion-limited surveys of the full sky visible to the array; 3) time domain astrophysics through exploration of the variable radio sky; and 4) solar imaging and characterisation of the heliosphere and ionosphere via propagation effects on background radio source emission. This paper concentrates on the capabilities of the MWA for solar science and summarises some of the solar science results to date, in advance of the initial operation of the final instrument in 2013.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)