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Log frequency (Hz)

Log frequency (Hz)

Figure 11.6. (a) Sketches of ideal radio spectra that are (i ) rising (optically thick thermal, typically blackbody), (ii) falling (non-thermal, typically synchrotron radiation), and (iii) flat (optically thin thermal radiation). (b) Sketches of real radio spectra. Note that, at very low frequencies, the flat optically thin spectra become optically thick and take on the v2power-law character of blackbody intensity for hv ^ kT. The sky background was measured over an unspecified solid angle. [Adapted from J. D. Kraus, Radio Astronomy, 2nd ed. Fig. 8-9, Cyg-Quasar Books, 1986, with permission]

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