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The temporal evolution of coronal loops observed by GOES-SXI View all abstracts by submitter

Marcelo Lopez-Fuentes   Submitted: 2006-11-10 08:29

We study the temporal evolution of coronal loops using data from the Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) on board of GOES-12. This instrument allows us to follow in detail the full lifetime of coronal loops. The observed light curves suggest three somewhat distinct evolutionary phases: rise, main, and decay. The durations and characteristic timescales of these phases are much longer than a cooling time and indicate that the loop-averaged heating rate increases slowly, reaches a maintenance level, and then decreases slowly. This suggests that a single heating mechanism operates for the entire lifetime of the loop. For monolithic loops, the loop-averaged heating rate is the intrinsic energy release rate of the heating mechanism. For loops that are bundles of impulsively heated strands, it is an indication of the frequency of occurrence of individual heating events, or nanoflares. We show that the timescale of the loop-averaged heating rate is proportional to the timescale of the observed intensity variation. The ratios of the radiative to conductive cooling times in the loops are somewhat less than 1, putting them intermediate between the values measured previously for hotter and cooler loops. Our results provide further support for the existence of a trend suggesting that all loops are heated by the same mechanism, or that different mechanisms have fundamental similarities (e.g., are all impulsive or are all steady with similar rates of heating).

Authors: M.C. Lopez Fuentes, J.A. Klimchuk, C.H. Mandrini
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted for publication in ApJ
Last Modified: 2006-11-10 10:17
Go to main E-Print page  A Multiple flare scenario where the classic long duration flare was not the source of a CME  Decametric N burst: a consequence of the interaction of two coronal mass ejections  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Submitter's Homepage Delete Entry 

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