Submillimeter brightness spike at the solar limb

Beckman, J. E.; Lesurf, J. C. G.; Ross, J.
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Nature, vol. 254, Mar. 6, 1975, p. 38, 39. Research supported by the Science Research Council and Delegation Generale a la Recherche Scientifique et Technique.

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Submillimeter observations made with a rapid-scanning interferometer during the solar eclipse of June 30, 1973 are reported. Reduction, correction, and plotting of the data is described, and the obtained results show that the spike can be identified with emission from chromospheric spicules. Models of spicules from optical wavelength data indicate that the spicules are optically thick through the submillimeter range. A more detailed analysis on the number density and length distribution of the spicules above the photosphere, in the region near the chromopause, is pending. It is noted that an examination of large scale brightness distributions across the sun was prevented by time limitations, and that submillimetric limb brightening still remains a mystery.