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High-temperature differential emission measure and altitude variations in the temperature and density of solar flare coronal X-ray sources View all abstracts by submitter

Natasha Jeffrey   Submitted: 2015-10-29 03:10

The detailed knowledge of plasma heating and acceleration region properties presents a major observational challenge in solar flare physics. Using the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI), the high temperature differential emission measure, DEM(T), and the energy-dependent spatial structure of solar flare coronal sources are studied quantitatively. The altitude of the coronal X-ray source is observed to increase with energy by ~+0.2 arcsec/keV between 10 and 25 keV. Although an isothermal model can fit the thermal X-ray spectrum observed by RHESSI, such a model cannot account for the changes in altitude, and multi-thermal coronal sources are required where the temperature increases with altitude. For the first time, we show how RHESSI imaging information can be used to constrain the DEM(T) of a flaring plasma. We develop a thermal bremsstrahlung X-ray emission model with inhomogeneous temperature and density distributions to simultaneously reproduce: i) DEM(T), ii) altitude as a function of energy, and iii) vertical extent of the flaring coronal source versus energy. We find that the temperature-altitude gradient in the region is ~+0.08 keV/arcsec (~1.3 MK/Mm). Similar altitude-energy trends in other flares suggest that the majority of coronal X-ray sources are multi-thermal and have strong vertical temperature and density gradients with a broad DEM(T).

Authors: Natasha Jeffrey, Eduard Kontar & Brian Dennis
Projects: RHESSI

Publication Status: A & A (accepted)
Last Modified: 2015-11-02 10:52
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