RHESSI and TRACE observations of an M 2.5 flare: a direct application of the Kopp and Pneuman model
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia - Sezione Astrofisica, Università di Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
Accepted: 3 July 2006
Context.The processes of current sheet formation and magnetic reconnection are nowadays believed to be at the basis of several solar phenomena, including erupting prominences, flares, and CMEs. However, the possibility of determining clear signatures of the occurrence of these processes in erupting active regions is still lacking in several aspects.
Aims.In this paper we analyze coronal images relevant to a system of loops involved in a very energetic flare, to search for observational signatures of current sheet formation and magnetic reconnection and compare them with what is expected from theory.
Methods.X-ray and EUV data acquired by the Ramaty High-Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) and the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) satellites have been used to analyze an M2.5 flare that occurred in NOAA 9901 on 16 April 2002. The evolution of the flare loops, the EUV footpoints, and the X-ray loop tops have been studied.
Results.The event shows a simple morphology in which the EUV and X-ray sources change from an X to a Y configuration; the formation of a thin, filamentary structure, compatible with what is expected from the collapse of an X-point in a current sheet, is observed; the height of the top of the observed EUV loops and the separation between the footpoints show an increase with time.
Conclusions.The study of this event provides several observational signatures, expected from theory during the formation of a current sheet and consequent reconnection, which allowed us to interpret it in the framework of the Kopp and Pneuman model.
Key words: Sun: flares / Sun: activity / Sun: filaments
© ESO, 2006