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Early Chromospheric Response During a Solar Microflare Observed With SOHO's CDS and RHESSI View all abstracts by submitter

Jeffrey Brosius   Submitted: 2010-08-24 12:17

We observed a solar microflare with RHESSI and SOHO's Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer (CDS) on 2009 July 5. With CDS we obtained rapid cadence (7 s) stare spectra within a narrow field of view toward the center of AR 11024. The spectra contain emission lines from ions that cover a wide range of temperature, including He I (<0.025 MK), O V (0.25 MK), Si XII (2 MK), and Fe XIX (8 MK). The start of a precursor burst of He I and O V line emission preceded the steady increase of Fe XIX line emission by about 1 minute and the emergence of 3-12 keV X-ray emission by about 4 minutes. Thus, the onset of the microflare was observed in upper chromospheric (He I) and transition region (O V) line emission before it was detected in high-temperature flare plasma emission. Redshifted O V emission during the precursor suggests explosive chromospheric evaporation, but no corresponding blueshifts were found with either Fe XIX (which was very weak) or Si XII. Similarly, in subsequent microflare brightenings the O V and He I intensities increased (between 49 s and almost 2 minutes) before emissions from the hot flare plasma. Although these time differences likely indicate heating by a nonthermal particle beam, the RHESSI spectra provide no additional evidence for such a beam. In intervals lasting up to about 3 minutes during several bursts, the He I and O V emission line profiles showed secondary, highly blueshifted (~ -200 km s-1) components; during intervals lasting nearly 1 minute the velocities of the primary and secondary components were oppositely directed. Combined with no corresponding blueshifts in either Fe XIX or Si XII, this indicates that explosive chromospheric evaporation occurred predominantly at either comparatively cool temperatures (<2 MK) or within a hot temperature range to which our observations were not sensitive (e.g., between 2 and 8 MK).

Authors: Jeffrey W. Brosius and Gordon D. Holman
Projects: RHESSI, CDS

Publication Status: ApJ 720, 1472
Last Modified: 2010-08-24 12:17
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