Modelling Mg II During Solar Flares. II. Nonequilibrium Effects 

Graham Kerr Submitted: 20190930 19:15
To extract the information that the Mg II NUV spectra (observed by the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph; IRIS), carries about the chromosphere during solar flares, and to validate models of energy transport via modeldata comparison, forward modelling is required. The assumption of statistical equilibrium is typically used to obtain the atomic level populations from snapshots of flare atmospheres, due to computational necessity. However it is possible that relying on statistical equilibrium could lead to spurious results. We compare solving the atomic level populations via statistical equilibrium versus a nonequilibrium timedependent approach. This was achieved using flare simulations from RADYN alongside the minority species version, MS_RADYN, from which the timedependent Mg II atomic level populations and radiation transfer were computed in complete frequency redistribution. The impacts on the emergent profiles, lightcurves, line ratios, and formation heights are discussed. In summary we note that nonequilibrium effects during flares are typically important only in the initial stages and for a short period following the cessation of the energy injection. An analysis of the timescales of ionisation equilibrium reveals that for most of the duration of the flare, when the temperatures and densities are sufficiently enhanced, the relaxation timescales are short (τ_{releax}<0.1 s), so that the equilibrium solution is an adequate approximation. These effects vary with the size of the flare, however. In weaker flares effects can be more pronounced. We recommend that nonequilibrium effects be considered when possible, but that statistical equilibrium is sufficient at most stages of the flare.
Authors: Kerr, Graham S., Carlsson, Mats and Allred, J.C.
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted in the Astrophysical Journal
Last Modified: 20191002 10:40


