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Low-Energy Cutoffs in Electron Spectra of Solar Flares: Statistical Survey View all abstracts by submitter

Eduard Kontar   Submitted: 2008-07-02 03:22

The Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) X-ray data base (February 2002 - May 2006) has been searched to find solar flares with weak thermal components and flat photon spectra. Using a regularised inversion technique, we determine the mean electron flux distribution from count spectra for a selection of events with flat photon spectra in the 15-20 keV energy range. Such spectral behaviour is expected for photon spectra either affected by photospheric albedo or produced by electron spectra with an absence of electrons in a given energy range, e.g. a low-energy cutoff in the mean electron spectra of non-themal particles. We have found 18 cases which exhibit a statistically significant local minimum (a dip) in the range of 13-19 keV. The positions and spectral indices of events with low-energy cutoff indicate that such features are likely to be the result of photospheric albedo. It is shown that if the isotropic albedo correction is applied, all low-energy cutoffs in the mean electron spectrum are removed and hence the low energy cutoffs in the mean electron spectrum of solar flares above sim12 keV cannot be viewed as real features. If low-energy cutoffs exist in the mean electron spectra, their energies should be less than sim12 keV.

Authors: Kontar, E.P., Dickson, E., Kasparova, J.
Projects: RHESSI

Publication Status: submitted to Solar Physics
Last Modified: 2008-09-23 20:57
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