First detection of return currents in solar flares by spectropolarimetry with THEMIS
Observatoire de Paris, LESIA/UMR8645, Place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon principal Cedex, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 25165 Ondřejov, Czech Republic e-mail: email@example.com
Corresponding author: J.-C. Hénoux, Jeanfirstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 31 March 2003
Using THEMIS French-Italien telescope with the MTR mode, the Hydrogen Hα and Hβ lines have been observed to be linearly polarized up to a few percent by impact during the impulsive phase of two solar flares associated with high-frequency radio pulses. Two privileged directions of linear polarization are present, respectively radial (in the disk center to flare direction) and tangential (perpendicular to the radial direction). This 90 degree change in the linear polarization direction is interpreted as due to the chromospheric return current generated by the penetration of a non-thermal electron beam into the chromosphere.
Key words: Sun: flares / plasmas / polarization
© ESO, 2003