Characteristics of the flare acceleration region derived from simultaneous hard X-ray and radio observations

Reid, H.A.S. , Vilmer, N. and Kontar, E.P. (2011) Characteristics of the flare acceleration region derived from simultaneous hard X-ray and radio observations. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 529, (doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201016181)

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We investigate the type III radio bursts and X-ray signatures of accelerated electrons in a well-observed solar flare in order to find the spatial properties of the acceleration region. Combining simultaneous RHESSI hard X-ray flare data and radio data from Phoenix-2 and the Nançay radioheliograph, the outward transport of flare accelerated electrons is analysed. The observations show that the starting frequencies of type III bursts are anti-correlated with the HXR spectral index of solar flare accelerated electrons. We demonstrate both analytically and numerically that the type III burst starting location is dependent upon the accelerated electron spectral index and the spatial acceleration region size, but weakly dependent on the density of energetic electrons for relatively intense electron beams. Using this relationship and the observed anti-correlation, we estimate the height and vertical extent of the acceleration region, giving values of around 50 Mm and 10 Mm, respectively. The inferred acceleration height and size suggest that electrons are accelerated well above the soft X-ray loop-top, which could be consistent with the electron acceleration between 40 Mm and 60 Mm above the flaring loop.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kontar, Professor Eduard and Reid, Dr Hamish
Authors: Reid, H.A.S., Vilmer, N., and Kontar, E.P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astronomy and Astrophysics
Publisher:EDP Sciences
Published Online:04 April 2011
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