Diffusive transport of energetic electrons in the solar corona: X-ray and radio diagnostics
1 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, Univ. Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 92195 Meudon, France
2 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, 55455 Minnesota, USA
3 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
Received: 5 July 2017
Accepted: 1 October 2017
Context. Imaging spectroscopy in X-rays with RHESSI provides the possibility to investigate the spatial evolution of X-ray emitting electron distribution and therefore, to study transport effects on energetic electrons during solar flares.
Aims. We study the energy dependence of the scattering mean free path of energetic electrons in the solar corona.
Methods. We used imaging spectroscopy with RHESSI to study the evolution of energetic electrons distribution in various parts of the magnetic loop during the 2004 May 21 flare. We compared these observations with the radio observations of the gyrosynchrotron radiation of the same flare and with the predictions of a diffusive transport model.
Results. X-ray analysis shows a trapping of energetic electrons in the corona and a spectral hardening of the energetic electron distribution between the top of the loop and the footpoints. Coronal trapping of electrons is stronger for radio-emitting electrons than for X-ray-emitting electrons. These observations can be explained by a diffusive transport model.
Conclusions. We show that the combination of X-ray and radio diagnostics is a powerful tool to study electron transport in the solar corona in different energy domains. We show that the diffusive transport model can explain our observations, and in the range 25–500 keV, the scattering mean free path of electrons decreases with electron energy. We can estimate for the first time the scattering mean free path dependence on energy in the corona.
Key words: Sun: X-rays, gamma rays / Sun: flares / techniques: imaging spectroscopy / Sun: corona
© ESO, 2018