Spatially inhomogeneous acceleration of electrons in solar flares
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow,
G12 8QQ, UK
2 King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK
Accepted: 21 December 2017
The imaging spectroscopy capabilities of the Reuven Ramaty high energy solar spectroscopic imager (RHESSI) enable the examination of the accelerated electron distribution throughout a solar flare region. In particular, it has been revealed that the energisation of these particles takes place over a region of finite size, sometimes resolved by RHESSI observations. In this paper, we present, for the first time, a spatially distributed acceleration model and investigate the role of inhomogeneous acceleration on the observed X-ray emission properties. We have modelled transport explicitly examining scatter-free and diffusive transport within the acceleration region and compare with the analytic leaky-box solution. The results show the importance of including this spatial variation when modelling electron acceleration in solar flares. The presence of an inhomogeneous, extended acceleration region produces a spectral index that is, in most cases, different from the simple leaky-box prediction. In particular, it results in a generally softer spectral index than predicted by the leaky-box solution, for both scatter-free and diffusive transport, and thus should be taken into account when modelling stochastic acceleration in solar flares.
Key words: Sun: flares / Sun: corona / Sun: X-rays, gamma rays
© ESO 2018