Exploring impulsive solar magnetic energy release and particle acceleration with focused hard X-ray imaging spectroscopy

Christe, S. et al. (2017) Exploring impulsive solar magnetic energy release and particle acceleration with focused hard X-ray imaging spectroscopy. Technical Report. Next Generation Solar Physics Mission.

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Publisher's URL: https://arxiv.org/abs/1701.00792

Abstract

How impulsive magnetic energy release leads to solar eruptions and how those eruptions are energized and evolve are vital unsolved problems in Heliophysics. The standard model for solar eruptions summarizes our current understanding of these events. Magnetic energy in the corona is released through drastic restructuring of the magnetic field via reconnection. Electrons and ions are then accelerated by poorly understood processes. Theories include contracting loops, merging magnetic islands, stochastic acceleration, and turbulence at shocks, among others. Although this basic model is well established, the fundamental physics is poorly understood. HXR observations using grazing-incidence focusing optics can now probe all of the key regions of the standard model. These include two above-the-looptop (ALT) sources which bookend the reconnection region and are likely the sites of particle acceleration and direct heating. The science achievable by a direct HXR imaging instrument can be summarized by the following science questions and objectives which are some of the most outstanding issues in solar physics (1) How are particles accelerated at the Sun? (1a) Where are electrons accelerated and on what time scales? (1b) What fraction of electrons is accelerated out of the ambient medium? (2) How does magnetic energy release on the Sun lead to flares and eruptions? A Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) instrument, which can be built now using proven technology and at modest cost, would enable revolutionary advancements in our understanding of impulsive magnetic energy release and particle acceleration, a process which is known to occur at the Sun but also throughout the Universe.

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Technical Report)
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hannah, Dr Iain and Battaglia, Dr Marina and Kontar, Dr Eduard and Hudson, Dr Hugh
Authors: Christe, S., Krucker, S., Glesener, L., Shih, A., Saint-Hilaire, P., Caspi, A., Allred, J., Battaglia, M., Chen, B., Drake, J., Dennis, B., Gary, D., Gburek, S., Goetz, K., Grefenstette, B., Gubarev, M., Hannah, I., Holman, G., Hudson, H., Inglis, A., Ireland, J., Ishikawa, S., Kilmchuk, J., Kontar, E., Kowalski, A., Longcope, D., Massone, A., Musset, S., Piana, M., Ramsey, B., Ryan, D., Schwartz, R., Stęślick, M., Turin, P., Warmuth, A., Wilson-Hodge, C., White, S., Veronig, A., Vilmer, N., and Woods, T.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Publisher:Next Generation Solar Physics Mission
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Authors

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