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Identification of multiple hard X-ray sources in solar flares: A Bayesian analysis of the February 20 2002 event View all abstracts by submitter

Michele Piana   Submitted: 2018-02-08 02:48

Hard X-ray emission in solar flares is typically characterized by a number of discrete sources, each with its own spectral, temporal, and spatial variability. Establishing the relationship amongst these sources is critical to determine the role of each in the energy release and transport processes that occur within the flare. In this paper we present a novel method to identify and characterize each source of hard X-ray emission. In particular, the method permits a quantitative determination of the most likely number of subsources present, and of the relative probabilities that the hard X-ray emission in a given subregion of the flare is represented by a complicated multiple source structure or by a simpler single source. We apply the method to a well-studied flare on 2002 February 20 in order to assess competing claims as to the number of chromospheric footpoint sources present, and hence to the complexity of the underlying magnetic geometry/toplogy. Contrary to previous claims of the need for multiple sources to account for the chromospheric hard X-ray emission at different locations and times, we find that a simple two-footpoint-plus-coronal-source model is the most probable explanation for the data. We also find that one of the footpoint sources moves quite rapidly throughout the event, a factor that presumably complicated previous analyses. The inferred velocity of the footpoint corresponds to a very high induced electric field, compatible with those in thin reconnecting current sheets.

Authors: Federica Sciacchitano, Alberto Sorrentino, A Gordon Emslie, Anna Maria Massone, Michele Piana
Projects: RHESSI

Publication Status: submitted to ApJ
Last Modified: 2018-02-08 16:22
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