Stereoscopic electron spectroscopy of solar hard x-ray flares with a single spacecraft

Kontar, E.P. and Brown, J.C. (2006) Stereoscopic electron spectroscopy of solar hard x-ray flares with a single spacecraft. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 653(2), L149-L152. (doi:10.1086/510586)

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Hard X-ray (HXR) spectroscopy is the most direct method of diagnosing energetic electrons in solar flares. Here we present a technique that allows us to use a single HXR spectrum to determine an effectively stereoscopic electron energy distribution. Considering the Sun's surface to act as a "Compton mirror" allows us to look at emitting electrons also from behind the source, providing vital information on downward-propagating particles. Using this technique we determine simultaneously the electron spectra of downward- and upward-directed electrons for two solar flares observed by the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI). The results reveal surprisingly near-isotropic electron distributions, which contrast strongly with the expectations from the standard model that invokes strong downward beaming, including a collisional thick-target model.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kontar, Professor Eduard and Brown, Professor John
Authors: Kontar, E.P., and Brown, J.C.
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal Letters
ISSN (Online):2041-8213
Published Online:04 December 2006
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