The optical depth of white-light flare continuum

Potts, H., Hudson, H.S., Fletcher, L. and Diver, D.A. (2010) The optical depth of white-light flare continuum. Astrophysical Journal, 722(2), pp. 1514-1521. (doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/722/2/1514)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


The white-light continuum emission of a solar flare remains a puzzle as regards its height of formation and its emission mechanism(s). This continuum and its extension into the near-UV contain the bulk of the energy radiated by a flare, and so its explanation is a high priority. We describe a method to determine the optical depth of the emitting layer and apply it to the well-studied flare of 2002 July 15, making use of MDI pseudo-continuum intensity images. We find the optical depth of the visible continuum in all flare images, including an impulsive ribbon to be small, consistent with the observation of Balmer and Paschen edges in other events.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fletcher, Professor Lyndsay and Diver, Professor Declan
Authors: Potts, H., Hudson, H.S., Fletcher, L., and Diver, D.A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal
ISSN (Online):1538-4357
Published Online:30 September 2010

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

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
465931Solar, stellar and cosmological plasmas: a synthesis of data, modelling and theory.Declan DiverScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/F002149/1Physics and Astronomy