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Constraining hot plasma in a non-flaring solar active region with FOXSI hard X-ray observations  

Lindsay Glesener   Submitted: 2015-01-23 16:54

We present new constraints on the high-temperature emission measure of a non-flaring solar active region using observations from the recently flown Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) sounding rocket payload. FOXSI has performed the first focused hard X-ray (HXR) observation of the Sun in its first successful flight on 2012 November 2. Focusing optics, combined with small strip detectors, enable high-sensitivity observations with respect to previous indirect imagers. This capability, along with the sensitivity of the HXR regime to high-temperature emission, offers the potential to better characterize high-temperature plasma in the corona as predicted by nanoflare heating models. We present a joint analysis of the differential emission measure (DEM) of active region 11602 using coordinated observations by FOXSI, Hinode/XRT, and Hinode/EIS. The Hinode-derived DEM predicts significant emission measure between 1 MK and 3 MK, with a peak in the DEM predicted at 2.0-2.5 MK. The combined XRT and EIS DEM also shows emission from a smaller population of plasma above 8 MK. This is contradicted by FOXSI observations that significantly constrain emission above 8 MK. This suggests that the Hinode DEM analysis has larger uncertainties at higher temperatures and that > 8 MK plasma above an emission measure of 3x1044 cm-3 is excluded in this active region.

Authors: Ishikawa, Shin-nosuke; Glesener, Lindsay; Christe, Steven; Ishibashi, Kazunori; Brooks, David H.; Williams, David R.; Shimojo, Masumi; Sako, Nobuharu; Krucker, S
Projects: Hinode/EIS,Hinode/XRT,Other

Publication Status: Published in PASJ
Last Modified: 2015-01-26 10:04
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First Images from the Focusing Optics X-Ray Solar Imager  

Lindsay Glesener   Submitted: 2015-01-23 16:51

The Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager (FOXSI) sounding rocket payload flew for the first time on 2012 November 2, producing the first focused images of the Sun above 5 keV. To enable hard X-ray (HXR) imaging spectroscopy via direct focusing, FOXSI makes use of grazing-incidence replicated optics combined with fine-pitch solid-state detectors. On its first flight, FOXSI observed several targets that included active regions, the quiet Sun, and a GOES-class B2.7 microflare. This Letter provides an introduction to the FOXSI instrument and presents its first solar image. These data demonstrate the superiority in sensitivity and dynamic range that is achievable with a direct HXR imager with respect to previous, indirect imaging methods, and illustrate the technological readiness for a spaceborne mission to observe HXRs from solar flares via direct focusing optics.

Authors: Krucker, Säm; Christe, Steven; Glesener, Lindsay; Ishikawa, Shin-nosuke; Ramsey, Brian; Takahashi, Tadayuki; Watanabe, Shin; Saito, Shinya; Gubarev, Mikhail; Kilaru, Kiranmayee; Tajima, Hiroyasu; Tanaka, Takaaki; Turin, Paul; McBride, Stephen; Glaser, David; Fermin, Jose; White, Stephen; Lin, Robert
Projects: Other

Publication Status: Published in ApJL
Last Modified: 2015-01-26 10:04
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Observation of Heating by Flare-accelerated Electrons in a Solar Coronal Mass Ejection  

Lindsay Glesener   Submitted: 2013-12-11 20:01

We report a Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) observation of flare-accelerated electrons in the core of a coronal mass ejection (CME) and examine their role in heating the CME. Previous CME observations have revealed remarkably high thermal energies that can far surpass the CME's kinetic energy. A joint observation by RHESSI and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly of a partly occulted flare on 2010 November 3 allows us to test the hypothesis that this excess energy is collisionally deposited by flare-accelerated electrons. Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) images show an ejection forming the CME core and sheath, with isothermal multifilter analysis revealing temperatures of ~11 MK in the core. RHESSI images reveal a large (~100 ? 50 arcsec2) hard X-ray (HXR) source matching the location, shape, and evolution of the EUV plasma, indicating that the emerging CME is filled with flare-accelerated electrons. The time derivative of the EUV emission matches the HXR light curve (similar to the Neupert effect observed in soft and HXR time profiles), directly linking the CME temperature increase with the nonthermal electron energy loss, while HXR spectroscopy demonstrates that the nonthermal electrons contain enough energy to heat the CME. This is the most direct observation to date of flare-accelerated electrons heating a CME, emphasizing the close relationship of the two in solar eruptive events.

Authors: Lindsay Glesener, Säm Krucker, Hazel Bain, Robert Lin
Projects: RHESSI,SDO-AIA

Publication Status: Published
Last Modified: 2013-12-12 11:38
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Hard X-Ray Observations of a Jet and Accelerated Electrons in the Corona  

Lindsay Glesener   Submitted: 2012-12-11 18:22

We report the first hard X-ray observation of a solar jet on the limb with flare footpoints occulted, so that faint emission from accelerated electrons in the corona can be studied in detail. In this event on 2003 August 21, RHESSI observed a double coronal hard X-ray source in the pre-impulsive phase at both thermal and nonthermal energies. In the impulsive phase, the first of two hard X-ray bursts consists of a single thermal/nonthermal source coinciding with the lower of the two earlier sources, and the second burst shows an additional nonthermal, elongated source, spatially and temporally coincident with the coronal jet. Analysis of the jet hard X-ray source shows that collisional losses by accelerated electrons can deposit enough energy to generate the jet. The hard X-ray time profile above 20 keV matches that of the accompanying Type III and broadband gyrosynchrotron radio emission, indicating both accelerated electrons escaping outward along the jet path and electrons trapped in the flare loop. The double coronal hard X-ray source, the open field lines indicated by Type III bursts, and the presence of a small post-flare loop are consistent with significant electron acceleration in an interchange reconnection geometry.

Authors: Lindsay Glesener, Säm Krucker, R.P. Lin
Projects: Nançay Radioheliograph,RHESSI,TRACE

Publication Status: ApJ, Vol 754, Issue 1, article id. 9, 9 pp. (2012)
Last Modified: 2012-12-12 12:18
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Abstracts by Author
Constraining hot plasma in a non-flaring solar active region with FOXSI hard X-ray observations
First Images from the Focusing Optics X-Ray Solar Imager
Observation of Heating by Flare-accelerated Electrons in a Solar Coronal Mass Ejection
Hard X-Ray Observations of a Jet and Accelerated Electrons in the Corona

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