Volume 426, Number 3, November II 2004
|1093 - 1101
|18 October 2004
The spectral evolution of impulsive solar X-ray flares
Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 15 July 2004
The time evolution of the spectral index and the non-thermal flux in 24 impulsive solar hard X-ray flares of GOES class M was studied in RHESSI observations. The high spectral resolution allows for a clean separation of thermal and non-thermal components in the 10–30 keV range, where most of the non-thermal photons are emitted. Spectral index and flux can thus be determined with much better accuracy than before. The spectral soft-hard-soft behavior in rise-peak-decay phases is discovered not only in the general flare development, but even more pronounced in subpeaks. An empirically found power-law dependence between the spectral index and the normalization of the non-thermal flux holds during the rise and decay phases of the emission peaks. It is still present in the combined set of all flares. We find an asymmetry in this dependence between rise and decay phases of the non-thermal emission. There is no delay between flux peak and spectral index minimum. The soft-hard-soft behavior appears to be an intrinsic signature of the elementary electron acceleration process.
Key words: Sun: flares / Sun: X-rays, gamma rays / acceleration of particles
© ESO, 2004
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