Correlation between decimetric radio emission and hard X-rays in solar flares
Institute of Astronomy, ETH Zürich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Srasse 27, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 31 March 2009
Aims. The emission of decimetric flare radiation, in particular narrowband spikes and pulsations, is generally considered to originate in accelerated, non-thermal particles. On the other hand, non-thermal hard X-rays are also understood to be products of this acceleration. Do radio emission and hard X-ray signatures originate from the same acceleration process? A strong correlation between the light curves in the radio and HXR ranges may help answer this question.
Methods. The delay between the radio and hard X-ray emission was determined by cross-correlation. The time profiles of X-ray and radio emission include a wide range of energies and frequencies. Thus, correlation is not simply a yes/no question, but must be systematically searched for in various ranges. The high spectral resolution of RHESSI ensured that it was possible to carefully choose the energy range, excluding thermal emission. The broad bandwidth of Phoenix-2 allowed the selection of any emission in the full decimetre range. The energy range and duration in hard X-rays, and the frequency range in radio spectrograms were chosen to optimize the correlation. The cross-correlation coefficient was then analyzed by a Gaussian fitting method.
Results. The measured delays have a distribution of FWHM 4.9 s and 4.7 s for pulsations and spikes, respectively, evaluated from such a Gaussian fitting method. The mean delay for pulsations was found to be s (minus indicates that hard X-ray emission comes first), and for narrowband spikes to s. There are broad wings in the distribution, which we interpret as chance coincidences. The delays do not depend on centre frequency, cross-correlation coefficient, duration of the correlating sequence, and position on the disk. However, we find an increase in the delay for the spikes with GOES magnitude (peak soft X-ray emission) of the flare and with peak hard X-ray flux. This was not the case for pulsations.
Conclusions. In contrast to previous reports, the average delays for all pulsations and all spike groups are consistent with zero. Thus, correlated decimetric pulsations and spikes are, on average, concomitant with non-thermal X-rays.
Key words: Sun: flares / Sun: corona / Sun: radio radiation / Sun: X-rays, gamma rays / acceleration of particles
© ESO, 2009