Solar flare electron spectra at the sun and near the earth

Krucker, S., Kontar, E.P. , Christe, S. and Lin, R.P. (2007) Solar flare electron spectra at the sun and near the earth. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 663(2), L109. (doi:10.1086/519373)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


We compare hard X-ray (HXR) photon spectra observed by the RHESSI with the spectra of the electrons in the associated solar impulsive particle events observed near 1 AU by the WIND 3D Plasma and Energetic Particle (3DP) instrument. For prompt events, where the inferred injection time at the Sun coincides with the HXR burst, the HXR photon power-law spectral index γ and the in situ observed electron spectral index δ measured above 50 keV show a good linear fit, δ=γ+0.1(±0.1) , with correlation coefficient of 0.83, while for delayed events (inferred injection >10 minutes after the HXR burst) only a weak correlation with a coefficient of 0.43 is seen. The observed relationship for prompt events is inconsistent, however, with both the thin target case, where the escaping electrons come from the X-ray-producing electron population, and the thick target case where some of the accelerated source population escapes to 1 AU and the rest produce the HXRs while losing all their energy to collisions. Furthermore, the derived total number of escaping electrons correlates with the number of electrons required to produce observed X-ray flux but is only about ∼0.2% of the number of HXR-producing electrons.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Sun: flares—Sun: particle emission—Sun: X-rays, gamma rays.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kontar, Professor Eduard
Authors: Krucker, S., Kontar, E.P., Christe, S., and Lin, R.P.
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal Letters
ISSN (Online):2041-8213
Published Online:27 June 2007

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record