Temporal comparison of nonthermal flare emission and magnetic-flux change rates
Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstraße 6, 8042 Graz, Austria e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Institute of Physics, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 5, 8010 Graz, Austria
3 Hvar Observatory, Faculty of Geodesy, Kačićeva 26, 1000 Zagreb, Croatia
Accepted: 2 February 2009
Context. To understand the mechanisms that trigger solar flares, we require models describing and quantifying observable responses to the original energy release process, since the coronal energy release site itself cannot be resolved with current technical equipment. Testing the usefulness of a particular model requires the comparison of its predictions with flare observations.
Aims. To test the standard flare model (CSHKP-model), we measured the magnetic-flux change rate in five flare events of different GOES classes using chromospheric/photospheric observations and compared its progression with observed nonthermal flare emission. We calculated the cumulated positive and negative magnetic flux participating in the reconnection process, as well as the total reconnection flux. Finally, we investigated the relations between the total reconnection flux, the GOES class of the events, and the linear velocity of the flare-associated CMEs.
Methods. Using high-cadence Hα and TRACE 1600 Å image time-series data and MDI/SOHO magnetograms, we measured the required observables (newly brightened flare area and magnetic-field strength inside this area). RHESSI and INTEGRAL hard X-ray time profiles in nonthermal energy bands were used as observable proxies for the flare-energy release rate.
Results. We detected strong temporal correlations between the derived magnetic-flux change rate and the observed nonthermal emission of all events. The cumulated positive and negative fluxes, with flux ratios of between 0.64 and 1.35, were almost equivalent to each other. Total reconnection fluxes ranged between 1.81021 Mx for the weakest event (GOES class B9.5) and 15.51021 Mx for the most energetic one (GOES class X17.2). The amount of magnetic flux participating in the reconnection process was higher in more energetic events than in weaker ones. Flares with more reconnection flux were associated with faster CMEs.
Key words: Sun: flares – Sun: corona – Sun: chromosphere – Sun: magnetic fields – Sun: activity
© ESO, 2009