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Determination of the total accelerated electron rate and power using solar flare hard X-ray spectra View all abstracts by submitter

Eduard Kontar   Submitted: 2018-12-27 00:43

Solar flare hard X-ray spectroscopy serves as a key diagnostic of the accelerated electron spectrum. However, the standard approach using the collisional cold thick-target model poorly constrains the lower-energy part of the accelerated electron spectrum, and hence the overall energetics of the accelerated electrons are typically constrained only to within one or two orders of magnitude. Here we develop and apply a physically self-consistent warm-target approach which involves the use of both hard X-ray spectroscopy and imaging data. The approach allows an accurate determination of the electron distribution low-energy cutoff, and hence the electron acceleration rate and the contribution of accelerated electrons to the total energy released, by constraining the coronal plasma parameters. Using a solar flare observed in X-rays by the RHESSI spacecraft, we demonstrate that using the standard cold-target methodology, the low-energy cutoff (and hence the energy content in electrons) is essentially undetermined. However, the warm-target methodology can determine the low-energy electron cutoff with ∼7% uncertainty at the 3σ level and hence permits an accurate quantitative study of the importance of accelerated electrons in solar flare energetics.

Authors: Eduard P. Kontar, Natasha L. S. Jeffrey, and A. Gordon Emslie
Projects: GOES X-rays,NuSTAR,RHESSI,Wind

Publication Status: accepted for publication in ApJ
Last Modified: 2018-12-28 14:32
Go to main E-Print page  On the Possibility of Generating Harmonics of the Electron Plasma Frequency in the Solar Atmosphere due to Explosive Instability in a System of Interpenetrating Electron and Ion Flows  Transition from axi- to nonaxisymmetric dynamo modes in spherical convection models of solar-like stars  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Submitter's Homepage Delete Entry 

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