Electron distribution functions in solar flares from combined x-ray and extreme-ultraviolet observations

Battaglia, M. and Kontar, E.P. (2013) Electron distribution functions in solar flares from combined x-ray and extreme-ultraviolet observations. Astrophysical Journal, 779(2), p. 107. (doi:10.1088/0004-637X/779/2/107)

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Simultaneous solar flare observations with SDO and RHESSI provide spatially resolved information about hot plasma and energetic particles in flares. RHESSI allows the properties of both hot (8 MK) thermal plasma and non-thermal electron distributions to be inferred, while SDO/AIA is more sensitive to lower temperatures. We present and implement a new method to reconstruct electron distribution functions from SDO/AIA data. The combined analysis of RHESSI and AIA data allows the electron distribution function to be inferred over the broad energy range from 0.1 keV up to a few tens of keV. The analysis of two well-observed flares suggests that the distributions in general agree to within a factor of three when the RHESSI values are extrapolated into the intermediate range 1-3 keV, with AIA systematically predicting lower electron fluxes. Possible instrumental and numerical effects, as well as potential physical origins for this discrepancy, are discussed. The inferred electron distribution functions in general show one or two nearly Maxwellian components at energies below ~15 keV and a non-thermal tail above.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kontar, Professor Eduard and Battaglia, Dr Marina
Authors: Battaglia, M., and Kontar, E.P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal
ISSN (Online):1538-4357
Published Online:27 November 2013
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
542081Rolling Programme in Solar and Plasma AstrophysicsLyndsay FletcherScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/I001808/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY