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Title: Characteristics of the photospheric magnetic field associated with solar flare initiation

The physical environment governing the solar flare initiation is not fully understood, although there are significant efforts to address the relationship between magnetic non-potential parameters and early flare signatures. In this study, we attempt to characterize the flare initiation based on the processed Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager vector magnetograms, Atmospheric Imaging Assembly 1600 Å, and RHESSI hard X-ray observations. Three flare events, the M6.6 flare on 2011 February 13, the X2.2 flare on 2011 February 15, and the X2.1 flare on 2011 September 6, in two active regions AR 11158 and AR 11283 are investigated. We analyze the source field strength in the photosphere, which is defined as the magnitude of the observed magnetic field deviation from the potential field. It is found that one of the strong source field regions above the magnetic polarity inversion line well connects the initial bright kernels of two conjugate ribbons. The results imply that the distribution of the photospheric source field strength can be used to locate the initiation site of flaring loops regardless of the configuration of pre-flare magnetic fields or the evolution of active regions. Moreover, the field configuration in the strong source field regions tends to become more inclined aftermore » flares, which is consistent with the coronal implosion scenario. We also employ a fast method to derive the total current density from the photospheric vector magnetogram in the framework of force-free field. This method can provide fast estimation of photospheric current density within a reasonable accuracy without appealing for the more accurate calculation from a model extrapolation.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Institute of Space Science, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China)
  2. School of Astronomy and Space Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)
  3. Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320 (United States)
  4. Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899 (United States)
  5. National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
  6. National Center for High-performance Computing, Hsinchu 30076, Taiwan (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357005
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 786; 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; ACCURACY; CONFIGURATION; CURRENT DENSITY; DISTRIBUTION; EVOLUTION; EXTRAPOLATION; GAMMA RADIATION; HARD X RADIATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PHOTOSPHERE; SOLAR FLARES; SUN