Coronal O VI emission observed with UVCS/SOHO during solar flares: Comparison with soft X-ray observations
1 Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Strada Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS 50, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Received: 22 July 2015
Accepted: 12 April 2016
In this work, we derive the O VI 1032 Å luminosity profiles of 58 flares, during their impulsive phase, based on off-limb measurements by the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) aboard the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The O VI luminosities from the transition region plasma (here defined as the region with temperatures 5.0 ≤ log T (K) ≤ 6.0) were inferred from the analysis of the resonantly scattered radiation of the O VI coronal ions. The temperature of maximum ionization for O VI is log Tmax (K) = 5.47. By comparison with simultaneous soft X-ray measurements, we investigate the likely source (chromospheric evaporation, footpoint emission, or heated prominence ejecta) for the transition region emission observed during the impulsive phase. In our study, we find evidence of the main characteristics predicted by the evaporation scenario. Specifically, most O VI flares precede the X-ray peaks typically by several minutes with a mean of 3.2 ± 0.1 min, and clear correlations are found between the soft X-ray and transition region luminosities following power laws with indices ~ 0.7 ± 0.3. Overall, the results are consistent with transition region emission originating from chromospheric evaporation; the thermal X-ray emission peaks after the emission from the evaporation flow as the loops fill with hot plasma. Finally, we were able to infer flow speeds in the range ~20−100 km s-1 for one-third of the events, 14 of which showed speeds between 60 and 80 km s-1. These values are compatible with those found through direct spectroscopic observations at transition region temperatures by the EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) on board Hinode.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: corona / Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) / Sun: flares / Sun: UV radiation
© ESO, 2016