skip to main content

Title: SOLAR HARD X-RAY SOURCE SIZES IN A BEAM-HEATED AND IONIZED CHROMOSPHERE

Solar flare hard X-rays (HXRs) are produced as bremsstrahlung when an accelerated population of electrons interacts with the dense chromospheric plasma. HXR observations presented by Kontar et al. using the Ramaty High-Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager have shown that HXR source sizes are three to six times more extended in height than those predicted by the standard collisional thick target model (CTTM). Several possible explanations have been put forward including the multi-threaded nature of flare loops, pitch-angle scattering, and magnetic mirroring. However, the nonuniform ionization (NUI) structure along the path of the electron beam has not been fully explored as a solution to this problem. Ionized plasma is known to be less effective at producing nonthermal bremsstrahlung HXRs when compared to neutral plasma. If the peak HXR emission was produced in a locally ionized region within the chromosphere, the intensity of emission will be preferentially reduced around this peak, resulting in a more extended source. Due to this effect, along with the associated density enhancement in the upper chromosphere, injection of a beam of electrons into a partially ionized plasma should result in an HXR source that is substantially more vertically extended relative to that for a neutral target. Here wemore » present the results of a modification to the CTTM, which takes into account both a localized form of chromospheric NUI and an increased target density. We find 50 keV HXR source widths, with and without the inclusion of a locally ionized region, of ∼3 Mm and ∼0.7 Mm, respectively. This helps to provide a theoretical solution to the currently open question of overly extended HXR sources.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Astrophysics Research Group, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2 (Ireland)
  2. Astronomy and Astrophysics Group, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364415
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 799; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BREMSSTRAHLUNG; CHROMOSPHERE; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; ELECTRON BEAMS; GAMMA RADIATION; HARD X RADIATION; IMAGES; INCLINATION; IONIZATION; MATHEMATICAL SOLUTIONS; PLASMA; SCATTERING; SOLAR FLARES; SUN