EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 418, Number 3, May II 2004
Page(s) 1117 - 1129
Section The Sun
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20034333

A&A 418, 1117-1129 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20034333

A multiwavelength study of solar flare waves

II. Perturbation characteristics and physical interpretation
A. Warmuth1, B. Vrsnak2, J. Magdalenic2, A. Hanslmeier3 and W. Otruba4

1  Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2  Hvar Observatory, University of Zagreb, Kaciceva 26, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
3  Institute for Geophysics, Astrophysics and Meteorology, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 5, 8010 Graz, Austria
4  Sonnenobservatorium Kanzelhöhe, 9521 Treffen, Austria

(Received 17 September 2003 / Accepted 26 January 2004)

The study of solar flare waves - globally propagating wave-like disturbances usually observed in H $\alpha$ as Moreton waves - has recently come back into focus prompted by the observation of coronal waves in the EUV with the SOHO/EIT instrument ("EIT waves"), and in several additional wavelength channels. We study 12 flare wave events in order to determine their physical nature, using H $\alpha$, EUV, helium I, SXR and radioheliographic data. In the companion Paper I, we have presented the observational data and have discussed the morphology, spatial characteristics and the kinematics of the different flare wave signatures. The wavefronts observed in the various spectral bands were found to follow kinematical curves that are closely associated, implying that they are signatures of the same physical disturbance. In the present paper, we continue the study with a close examination of the evolution of the common perturbation that causes the different wave signatures, and with a detailed analysis of the metric type II radio bursts that were associated with all flare wave events. The basic characteristics of the waves are deceleration, perturbation profile broadening, and perturbation amplitude decrease. This behavior can be interpreted in terms of a freely propagating fast-mode MHD shock formed from a large-amplitude simple wave. It is shown that this scenario can account for all observed properties of the flare waves in the various spectral bands, as well as for the associated metric type II radio bursts.

Key words: shock waves -- Sun: flares -- Sun: radio radiation -- Sun: corona -- Sun: chromosphere

Offprint request: A. Warmuth, awarmuth@aip.de

© ESO 2004

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