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Title: Particle densities within the acceleration region of a solar flare

The limb flare SOL2012-07-19T05:58 (M7.7) provides the best example of a non-thermal above-the-loop-top hard X-ray source with simultaneous observations by the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board the Solar Dynamic Observatory. By combining the two sets of observations, we present the first direct measurement of the thermal proton density and non-thermal electron density within the above-the-loop-top source where particle acceleration occurs. We find that both densities are of the same order of magnitude of a few times 10{sup 9} cm{sup –3}, about 30 times lower than the density in the underlying thermal flare loops. The equal densities indicate that the entire electron population within the above-the-loop-top source is energized. While the derived densities depend on the unknown source depth and filling factor, the ratio of these two densities does not. Within the uncertainties, the ratio is one for a low energy cutoff of the non-thermal electron spectrum between 10 and 15 keV. RHESSI observations only constrain the cutoff energy to below ∼15 keV, leaving the spectral shape of the electrons within the above-the-loop-top source at lower energies unknown. Nevertheless, these robust results strongly corroborate earlier findings that the above-the-loop-top source ismore » the acceleration region where a bulk energization process acts on all electrons.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, CH-5210 Windisch (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348281
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 780; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCELERATION; COSMIC X-RAY SOURCES; DENSITY; ELECTRON DENSITY; ELECTRON SPECTRA; ELECTRONS; EMISSION; GAMMA RADIATION; HARD X RADIATION; IMAGES; KEV RANGE; LIMBS; PARTICLES; PROTON DENSITY; SOLAR FLARES; SUN