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Leping Li   Submitted: 2008-09-04 22:38

Examining flare data observed by TRACE satellite from May 1998 to December 2006, we choose 190 (151 M-class and 39 X-class) flare events which display post-flare loops (PFLs), observed by 171 Å?A and 195 Å?A wavelengths. 124 of the 190 events exhibit flare ribbons (FRs), observed by 1600 Å?A images. We investigate the propagation of the brightening of these PFLs along the neutral lines and the separation of the FRs perpendicular to the neutral lines. Observations indicate that the footpoints of the initial brightening PFLs are always associated with the change of the photospheric magnetic fields. In most of the cases, the length of the FRs ranges from 20 Mm to 170 Mm. The propagating duration of the brightening is from 10 minutes to 60 minutes, and from 10 minutes to 70 minutes for the separating duration of the FRs. The velocities of the propagation and the separation range from 3 km s-1 to 39 km s-1 and 3 km s-1 to 15 km s-1, respectively. Both of the propagating velocities and the separating velocities are associated with the flare strength and the length of the FRs. It appears that the propagation and the separation are dynamically coupled, that is the greater the propagating velocity is, the faster the separation is. Furthermore, a greater propagating velocity corresponds to a greater deceleration (or acceleration). These PFLs display three types of propagating patterns. Type I propagation, which possesses about half of all the events, is that the brightening begins at the middle part of a set of PFLs, and propagates bi-directionally towards its both ends. Type II, possessing 30%, is that the brightening firstly appears at one end of a set of PFLs, then propagates to the other end. The remnant belongs to Type III propagation which displays that the initial brightening takes place at two (or more than two) positions on two (or more than two) sets of PFLs, and each brightening propagates bi-directionally along the neutral line. These three types of propagating patterns can be explained by a three-dimensional magnetic reconnection model.

Authors: Leping Li & Jun Zhang
Projects: TRACE

Publication Status: accepted by APJ
Last Modified: 2008-09-04 22:38
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