A. A. Gorbunov, M. I. Ryabov, A. L. Sukharev, V. V. Bezrukovs


Purpose: Based on the long-term study data in all radio spectrum ranges, the nature of deviations of spectral flux density of the Cas A supernova remnant from the tendency of its secular decrease is considered. The aim of this work is determining the presence of quasiperiodic variations and sporadic changes in the Cas A spectral radiation flux density depending on frequency.

Design/methodology/approach: The main database is using the published results obtained with the method of absolute measurements of the Cas A spectral radiation flux density in a wide range from millimeter to decimeter wavelengths, as well as the results obtained with the method of relative measurements of the ratio of the flux densities of the Cas A supernova remnant and radio galaxy Cyg A, this latter being used as a reference source in the meter wavelength range. For making comparison with the aforesaid data obtained with different methods, the results of a long-term monitoring (since 1987) of the variation of the ratio of the spectral flux densities of Cas A and Cyg A made with the URAN-4 radio telescope of the Institute of Radio Astronomy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine at 25 MHz were used.

Findings: As a result of the analysis of the observed data for the Cas A radiation flux density in the entire radio wavelength range, the existence of quasiperiodic variations in the range from millimeter to meter wavelengths within 2 to 9 years has been noted. The reason for the detected quasiperiodic variations can be the processes in the Cas A remnant itself. In the decameter wavelength range, according to monitoring data obtained with the URAN-4 radio telescope, the seasonal-diurnal and long-term variations are noted, being associated with changes in the ionosphere state in the solar activity cycle, with some weak appearance of the secular decrease of the Cas A radiation flux. The presence of sporadic variations in the ratio of the spectral flux densities of Cas A and Cyg A is associated with the effect of the increased solar activity. For explaining the lowering of the Cas A spectral flux density to the Cyg A level and maintaining the excess of the Cas A flux at decameter waves, the quasi-simultaneous observations made with radiotelescopes for different wavelength ranges will be required.

Conclusions: The evolution of the Cas A supernova remnant remains the focus of interest of current research efforts. An intriguing moment was the discovery of a point X-ray source in the center of radio source Cas A as a possible supernova remnant. The role of this source in the Cas A radio flux secular decrease and in its variations needs to be clarified. A detailed analysis of the long-term data and making quasi-simultaneous observations will allow to reveal the processes occurring in the radio source itself and to determine the influence of the ionosphere state on the results of measurements. A joint program is suggested for observations of Cas A and Cyg A flux variations with the RT-32 and RT-16 radio telescopes, the LOFAR element of the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center (Latvia), and the URAN, UTR-2 and GURT radio telescopes of the Institute of Radio Astronomy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. 

Key words: Cas A; secular radiation flux decrease; supernova remnant; ionosphere; solar activity

Manuscript submitted 08.11.2020

Radio phys. radio astron. 2020, 25(4): 268-275


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Cas A; secular radiation flux decrease; supernova remnant; ionosphere; solar activity

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