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Reconciliation of waiting time statistics of solar flares observed in hard X-rays View all abstracts by submitter

Markus J. Aschwanden   Submitted: 2010-02-11 17:03

We study the waiting time distributions of solar flares observed in hard X-rays with ISEE-3/ICE, HXRBS/SMM, WATCH/GRANAT, BATSE/CGRO, and RHESSI. Although discordant results and interpretations have been published earlier, based on relatively small ranges (< 2 decades) of waiting times, we find that all observed distributions, spanning over 6 decades of waiting times (Delta t approx 10-3- 103 hrs), can be reconciled with a single distribution function, N(Delta t) propto lambda_0 (1 + lambda_0 Delta t)-2, which has a powerlaw slope of p approx 2.0 at large waiting times (Delta t approx 1-1000 hrs) and flattens out at short waiting times Delta t lapprox Delta t_0 = 1/lambda_0. We find a consistent breakpoint at Delta t_0 = 1/lambda_0 = 0.80pm0.14 hours from the WATCH, HXRBS, BATSE, and RHESSI data. The distribution of waiting times is invariant for sampling with different flux thresholds, while the mean waiting time scales reciprocically with the number of detected events, Delta t_0 propto 1/ndet. This waiting time distribution can be modeled with a nonstationary Poisson process with a flare rate lambda=1/Delta t that varies as f(lambda) propto lambda-1 exp{-(lambda/lambda_0)}. This flare rate distribution represents a highly intermittent flaring productivity in short clusters with high flare rates, separated by quiescent intervals with very low flare rates.

Authors: Markus J. Aschwanden and James M. McTiernan
Projects: RHESSI

Publication Status: ApJ (accepted April 15, 2010 - in press)
Last Modified: 2010-04-16 13:37
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