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Quasi-periodic pulsations in solar and stellar flares: re-evaluating their nature in the context of power-law flare Fourier spectra View all abstracts by submitter

Andrew Inglis   Submitted: 2014-10-31 08:31

The nature of quasi-periodic pulsations in solar and stellar flares remains debated. Recent work has shown that power-law-like Fourier power spectra, also referred to as 'red' noise processes, are an intrinsic property of solar and stellar flare signals, a property that many previous studies of this phenomenon have not accounted for. Hence a re-evaluation of the existing interpretations and assumptions regarding QPP is needed. Here we adopt a Bayesian method for investigating this phenomenon, fully considering the Fourier power law properties of flare signals. Using data from the PROBA2/LYRA, Fermi/GBM, Nobeyama Radioheliograph and Yohkoh/HXT instruments, we study a selection of flares from the literature identified as QPP events. Additionally we examine optical data from a recent stellar flare that appears to exhibit oscillatory properties. We find that, for all but one event tested, an explicit oscillation is not required in order to explain the observations. Instead, the flare signals are adequately described as a manifestation of a power law in the Fourier power spectrum, rather than a direct signature of oscillating components or structures. However, for the flare of 1998 May 8, strong evidence for the existence of an explicit oscillation with P ~ 14-16 s is found in the 17 GHz radio data and the 13-23 keV Yohkoh HXT data. We conclude that, most likely, many previously analysed events in the literature may be similarly described in terms of power laws in the flare Fourier power spectrum, without the need to invoke a narrowband, oscillatory component. As a result the prevalence of oscillatory signatures in solar and stellar flares may be less than previously believed. The physical mechanism behind the appearance of the observed power laws is discussed.

Authors: A. R. Inglis, J. Ireland, M. Dominique
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ, accepted
Last Modified: 2014-10-31 09:40
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