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Global Energetics of Solar Flares: II. Thermal Energies View all abstracts by submitter

Markus J. Aschwanden   Submitted: 2015-02-19 14:23

We present the second part of a project on the global energeticsof solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that includes about400 M- and X-class flares observed with the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly AIA) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) during the first 3.5 yearsof its mission. In this Paper II we compute the differential emissionmeasure (DEM) distribution functions and associated multi-thermal energies,using a spatially-synthesized Gaussian DEM forward-fitting method.The multi-thermal DEM function yields a significantly higher (by anaverage factor of ≈ 14), but more comprehensive(multi-)thermal energy than an isothermal energy estimate fromthe same AIA data.We find a statistical energy ratio of Eth/Ediss ≈ 2%-40%between the multi-thermal energy Eth and themagnetically dissipated energy Ediss,which is an order of magnitude higher than the estimatesof Emslie et al. 2012. For the analyzed set of M and X-class flareswe find the following physical parameter ranges:L=108.2-109.7 cm for the length scale of the flare areas,T_p=105.7-107.4 K for the DEM peak temperature,T_w=106.8-107.6 K for the emission measure-weighted temperature,n_p=1010.3-1011.8 cm-3 for the average electron density,EM_p=1047.3-1050.3 cm-3 for the DEM peak emission measure,and Eth=1026.8-1032.0 erg for the multi-thermal energies.The deduced multi-thermal energies are consistentwith the RTV scaling law Eth,RTV = 7.3 x 10-10 Tp3 Lp2, which predicts extremal values ofEth,max ≈ 1.5 x 1033 erg for the largest flareand Eth,min ≈ 1 x 1024 erg for the smallestcoronal nanoflare.The size distributions of the spatial parameters exhibit powerlaw tails thatare consistent with the predictions of the fractal-diffusiveself-organized criticality model combined with the RTV scaling law.

Authors: Aschwanden,J.M., Boerner, P., Ryan, D., Caspi, A., McTiernan, J.M., and Warren, H.P.
Projects: SDO-AIA

Publication Status: The Astrophysical Journal, (accepted 2015-Feb-19, in press)
Last Modified: 2015-02-21 19:18
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