EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 499, Number 3, June I 2009
Page(s) L33 - L36
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200912143
Published online 29 April 2009
A&A 499, L33-L36 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200912143


Do solar decimetric spikes originate in coronal X-ray sources?

M. Battaglia and A. O. Benz

Institute of Astronomy, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
    e-mail: battaglia@astro.phys.ethz.ch

Received 24 March 2009 / Accepted 22 April 2009

Context. In the standard solar flare scenario, a large number of particles are accelerated in the corona. Nonthermal electrons emit both X-rays and radio waves. Thus, correlated signatures of the acceleration process are predicted at both wavelengths, coinciding either close to the footpoints of a magnetic loop or near the coronal X-ray source.
Aims. We attempt to study the spatial connection between coronal X-ray emission and decimetric radio spikes to determine the site and geometry of the acceleration process.
Methods. The positions of radio-spike sources and coronal X-ray sources are determined and analyzed in a well-observed limb event. Radio spikes are identified in observations from the Phoenix-2 spectrometer. Data from the Nançay radioheliograph are used to determine the position of the radio spikes. RHESSI images in soft and hard X-ray wavelengths are used to determine the X-ray flare geometry. Those observations are complemented by images from GOES/SXI.
Results. We find that the radio emission originates at altitudes much higher than the coronal X-ray source, having an offset from the coronal X-ray source amounting to 90´´ and to 113´´ and 131´´ from the two footpoints, averaged over time and frequency.
Conclusions. Decimetric spikes do not originate from coronal X-ray flare sources contrary to previous expectations. However, the observations suggest a causal link between the coronal X-ray source, related to the major energy release site, and simultaneous activity in the higher corona.

Key words: Sun: flares -- Sun: X-rays, gamma rays -- Sun: radio radiation -- acceleration of particles

© ESO 2009