Imaging the Sun with the MurchisonWidefield Array

D. Oberoi1,2*, L. D. Matthews2, I. H. Cairns3, S. J. Tingay4, L. Benkevitch2, A. Donea5, S. M. White6, W. Arcus4, D. Barnes5, G. Bernardi7, J. D. Bowman8, F. Briggs9, S. Burns10, J .D. Bunton11, R. J. Cappallo2, B. E. Corey2, A. Deshpande12, L. deSouza11, D. Emrich4, R. Goeke13, B. M. Gaensler14,15, L. J. Greenhilll7, B. J. Hazelton16, D. Herne4, M. Johnston-Hollitt17, D. L. Kaplan18, J. C. Kasper7, B. B. Kincaid2, R. Koeing11, E. Kratzenberg2, C. J. Lonsdale2, M. J. Lynch4, S. R. McWhirter2, D. A. Mitchell15,19, M. F. Morales16, E. Morgan13, S. M. Ord4, J. Pathikulungara11, T. Prabu12, R. A. Remillard13, A. E. E. Rogers2, A. Roshi20, J. E. Salah2, R. J. Sault19, N. Udaya-Shankar12, K. S. Srivani12, J. Stevens11, R. Subrahmanyan12,15, M. Waterson4, R. B. Wayth4, R. L. Webster19,15, A. R. Whitney2, A. Williams21, C. L. Williams13 and J. S. B. Wyithe19,15
1National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune, India
2MIT-Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA, USA
3The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
4ICRAR-Curtin University, Perth, Australia
5Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
6Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland, NM, USA
7Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, USA
8Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
9The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
10Burns Industries, Nashua, NH, USA
11CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Australia
12Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India
13MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Cambridge, MA, USA
14Sydney Institute for Astronomy, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
15ARC Centre for Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO)
16University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
17School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
18University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA
19The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
20NRAO, Green Bank, WV, USA
21ICRAR-University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

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The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a new generation low-frequency radio (80–300 MHz) array. The MWA design exploits recent advances in digital hardware capabilities and affordability of computational capacity to meet the needs of low-frequency radio astronomy. Solar and coronal imaging and studies of the heliosphere and the ionosphere via their propagation effects on low-frequency radio waves comprise one of the four key science goals of the MWA. Here we present some early solar science results to highlight the exceptional imaging dynamic range and fidelity of the MWA and its high time and frequency resolution, ahead of commencement of the regular observing scheduled for mid 2013.

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Keywords : Sun: corona; Sun: activity; instrumentation: intereferometers