skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: WIDESPREAD NANOFLARE VARIABILITY DETECTED WITH HINODE/X-RAY TELESCOPE IN A SOLAR ACTIVE REGION

Abstract

It is generally agreed that small impulsive energy bursts called nanoflares are responsible for at least some of the Sun's hot corona, but whether they are the explanation for most of the multimillion-degree plasma has been a matter of ongoing debate. We present here evidence that nanoflares are widespread in an active region observed by the X-Ray Telescope on board the Hinode mission. The distributions of intensity fluctuations have small but important asymmetries, whether taken from individual pixels, multipixel subregions, or the entire active region. Negative fluctuations (corresponding to reduced intensity) are greater in number but weaker in amplitude, so that the median fluctuation is negative compared to a mean of zero. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we show that only part of this asymmetry can be explained by Poisson photon statistics. The remainder is explainable through a tendency for exponentially decreasing intensity, such as would be expected from a cooling plasma produced from a nanoflare. We suggest that nanoflares are a universal heating process within active regions.

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2]; ;  [3]
  1. Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita di Palermo, Sezione di Astronomia, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo (Italy)
  2. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  3. National Astronomical Observatory, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21578248
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 736; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/736/2/111; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASYMMETRY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; FLUCTUATIONS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; SOLAR CORONA; ATMOSPHERES; CALCULATION METHODS; SIMULATION; SOLAR ATMOSPHERE; STELLAR ATMOSPHERES; STELLAR CORONAE; VARIATIONS

Citation Formats

Terzo, Sergio, Reale, Fabio, Miceli, Marco, Klimchuk, James A., Kano, Ryouhei, and Tsuneta, Saku, E-mail: terzo@astropa.unipa.it. WIDESPREAD NANOFLARE VARIABILITY DETECTED WITH HINODE/X-RAY TELESCOPE IN A SOLAR ACTIVE REGION. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/736/2/111.
Terzo, Sergio, Reale, Fabio, Miceli, Marco, Klimchuk, James A., Kano, Ryouhei, & Tsuneta, Saku, E-mail: terzo@astropa.unipa.it. WIDESPREAD NANOFLARE VARIABILITY DETECTED WITH HINODE/X-RAY TELESCOPE IN A SOLAR ACTIVE REGION. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/736/2/111.
Terzo, Sergio, Reale, Fabio, Miceli, Marco, Klimchuk, James A., Kano, Ryouhei, and Tsuneta, Saku, E-mail: terzo@astropa.unipa.it. Mon . "WIDESPREAD NANOFLARE VARIABILITY DETECTED WITH HINODE/X-RAY TELESCOPE IN A SOLAR ACTIVE REGION". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/736/2/111.
@article{osti_21578248,
title = {WIDESPREAD NANOFLARE VARIABILITY DETECTED WITH HINODE/X-RAY TELESCOPE IN A SOLAR ACTIVE REGION},
author = {Terzo, Sergio and Reale, Fabio and Miceli, Marco and Klimchuk, James A. and Kano, Ryouhei and Tsuneta, Saku, E-mail: terzo@astropa.unipa.it},
abstractNote = {It is generally agreed that small impulsive energy bursts called nanoflares are responsible for at least some of the Sun's hot corona, but whether they are the explanation for most of the multimillion-degree plasma has been a matter of ongoing debate. We present here evidence that nanoflares are widespread in an active region observed by the X-Ray Telescope on board the Hinode mission. The distributions of intensity fluctuations have small but important asymmetries, whether taken from individual pixels, multipixel subregions, or the entire active region. Negative fluctuations (corresponding to reduced intensity) are greater in number but weaker in amplitude, so that the median fluctuation is negative compared to a mean of zero. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we show that only part of this asymmetry can be explained by Poisson photon statistics. The remainder is explainable through a tendency for exponentially decreasing intensity, such as would be expected from a cooling plasma produced from a nanoflare. We suggest that nanoflares are a universal heating process within active regions.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/736/2/111},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 736,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {8}
}