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Chromospheric magnetic field and density structure measurements using hard X-rays in a flaring coronal loop View all abstracts by submitter

Eduard Kontar   Submitted: 2008-08-28 13:27

A novel method of using hard X-rays as a diagnostic for chromospheric density and magnetic structures is developed to infer sub-arcsecond vertical variation of magnetic flux tube size and neutral gas density.Using Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) X-ray data and the newly developed X-ray visibilities forward fitting technique we find the FWHM and centroid positions of hard X-ray sources with sub-arcsecond resolution (sim 0.2'') for a solar limb flare. We show that the height variations of the chromospheric density and the magnetic flux densities can be found with unprecedented vertical resolution of sim 150 km by mapping 18-250 keV X-ray emission of energetic electrons propagating in the loop at chromospheric heights of 400-1500 km. Our observations suggest that the density of the neutral gas is in good agreement with hydrostatic models with a scale height of around 140pm 30 km. FWHM sizes of the X-ray sources decrease with energy suggesting the expansion (fanning out) of magnetic flux tube in the chromosphere with height. The magnetic scale height B(z)(dB/dz)-1 is found to be of the order of 300 km and strong horizontal magnetic field is associated with noticeable flux tube expansion at a height of sim 900 km.

Authors: Kontar, E. P., Hannah, I. G., and MacKinnon, A. L.
Projects: RHESSI

Publication Status: Astronomy and Astrophysics in press
Last Modified: 2008-08-28 21:18
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