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Title: FIRST DETECTION OF >100 MeV GAMMA-RAYS ASSOCIATED WITH A BEHIND-THE-LIMB SOLAR FLARE

We report the first detection of >100 MeV gamma-rays associated with a behind-the-limb solar flare, which presents a unique opportunity to probe the underlying physics of high-energy flare emission and particle acceleration. On 2013 October 11 a GOES M1.5 class solar flare occurred ∼9.°9 behind the solar limb as observed by STEREO-B. RHESSI observed hard X-ray (HXR) emission above the limb, most likely from the flare loop-top, as the footpoints were occulted. Surprisingly, the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) detected >100 MeV gamma-rays for ∼30 minutes with energies up to 3 GeV. The LAT emission centroid is consistent with the RHESSI HXR source, but its uncertainty does not constrain the source to be located there. The gamma-ray spectra can be adequately described by bremsstrahlung radiation from relativistic electrons having a relatively hard power-law (PL) spectrum with a high-energy exponential cutoff, or by the decay of pions produced by accelerated protons and ions with an isotropic pitch-angle distribution and a PL spectrum with a number index of ∼3.8. We show that high optical depths rule out the gamma-rays originating from the flare site and a high-corona trap model requires very unusual conditions, so a scenario in which some of the particlesmore » accelerated by the CME shock travel to the visible side of the Sun to produce the observed gamma-rays may be at work.« less
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ; ; ; ;  [2]
  1. Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pisa, I-56127 Pisa (Italy)
  2. W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518967
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 805; 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; ACCELERATION; BREMSSTRAHLUNG; COSMIC ELECTRONS; COSMIC PIONS; COSMIC PROTONS; GAMMA RADIATION; GAMMA SPECTRA; GEV RANGE; HARD X RADIATION; INCLINATION; MEV RANGE; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; SOLAR FLARES; SUN; TELESCOPES