Multi-wavelength analysis of high-energy electrons in solar flares: a case study of the August 20, 2002 flare

Kašparová, J., Karlicky, M., Kontar, E.P., Schwartz, R.A. and Dennis, B.R. (2005) Multi-wavelength analysis of high-energy electrons in solar flares: a case study of the August 20, 2002 flare. Solar Physics, 232(1-2), pp. 63-86. (doi:10.1007/s11207-005-1581-9)

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Abstract

A multi-wavelength spatial and temporal analysis of solar high-energy electrons is conducted using the August 20, 2002 flare of an unusually flat (γ1 = 1.8) hard X-ray spectrum. The flare is studied using RHESSI, Hα, radio, TRACE, and MDI observations with advanced methods and techniques never previously applied in the solar flare context. A new method to account for X-ray Compton backscattering in the photosphere (photospheric albedo) has been used to deduce the primary X-ray flare spectra. The mean electron flux distribution has been analysed using both forward fitting and model-independent inversion methods of spectral analysis. We show that the contribution of the photospheric albedo to the photon spectrum modifies the calculated mean electron flux distribution, mainly at energies below ∼100 keV. The positions of the Hα emission and hard X-ray sources with respect to the current-free extrapolation of the MDI photospheric magnetic field and the characteristics of the radio emission provide evidence of the closed geometry of the magnetic field structure and the flare process in low altitude magnetic loops. In agreement with the predictions of some solar flare models, the hard X-ray sources are located on the external edges of the Hα emission and show chromospheric plasma heated by the non-thermal electrons. The fast changes of Hα intensities are located not only inside the hard X-ray sources, as expected if they are the signatures of the chromospheric response to the electron bombardment, but also away from them.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kontar, Professor Eduard
Authors: Kašparová, J., Karlicky, M., Kontar, E.P., Schwartz, R.A., and Dennis, B.R.
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Solar Physics
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1573-093X
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