Media responsible for Faraday rotation: A review


Corresponding author: D. Oberoi, National Center for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune, Maharashtra 411007, India. (


[1] Recent technological advances have led to a resurgence of interest in low frequency radio astronomy. Ionospheric distortion of cosmic radiation has, however, been a challenge for high fidelity and high sensitivity measurements at these long wavelengths. Several new and innovative low radio frequency interferometers are currently in varying stages of development, construction and commissioning across the globe. They will pursue a broad range of scientific objectives, and precise ionospheric calibration over the wide field-of-view of these new generation instruments will be a prerequisite for achieving these science goals. The task of calibration is made more difficult by the Faraday rotation (FR) of polarized flux as it passes through the magnetized plasma of the ionosphere, the plasmasphere, the magnetosphere, and the heliosphere. To quantify these effects, we present a survey of the order of magnitude of FR associated with these media and their spatial and temporal variations.